Pep Guardiola backs Erling Haaland to shine against Real Madrid in Champions League semi-final second leg after being shut down by Antonio Rudiger at the Bernabeu
- Guardiola backs Haaland
- Rudiger kept the striker silent
- City host Madrid in semi-final second leg
WHAT HAPPENED? Real Madrid defender Antonio Rudiger kept a close watch on Manchester City's in-form striker Haaland in the first leg of their Champions League clash. Haaland had a quiet outing against Los Blancos and managed just 21 touches in the match.
Despite a rare off day against the Spanish giants, Guardiola backed the Norwegian to find his usual form in the second leg of the tie.
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WHAT THEY SAID: Speaking to reporters, Guardiola said, "Congratulations to Rudiger but Erling, we cannot forget, is 22 and it was the first time he has played in the semi-finals of the Champions League. For the first time going to the Bernabeu, one of the biggest stages, against a top-class club with good defenders, midfielders and strikers, next time will be a little bit easier.
"If the team is able to play a little bit better in some departments in the way we are thinking for Wednesday, maybe it would be easier for him. In the end, it is what we are trying to do. He fought a lot and showed incredible commitment in what he had to do in Madrid. I am pretty sure he is ready, first for Sunday and then the next games."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Manchester City managed to hold the reigning champions to an exciting 1-1 draw in Madrid. Vinicius Junior's sublime strike had put the hosts in front but Kevin De Bruyne equalised in the second half.
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WHAT NEXT FOR MANCHESTER CITY? Guardiola's men take on Everton in a Premier League clash on Sunday before facing Carlo Ancelotti's side on Wednesday.