By Phil Spencer
Erling Haaland is already proving himself as one of the Premier League’s biggest mavericks and Man City’s latest game was no different.
Pep Guardiola’s side secured a 4-0 victory over newly-promoted Bournemouth at the Etihad Stadium, giving them maximum points from two matches played.
Ilkay Gundogan, Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden and a Jefferson Lerma own goal made the difference on the day, with Haaland a notable absentee from the list of scorers.
But those wondering why he wasn’t involved have little to worry about.
The £51million summer arrival from Borussia Dortmund may not have scored, but he was able to grab an assist for himself after teeing up Gundogan for City’s opener.
Remarkably, that assist was Haaland’s only completed pass in open play, with his other coming as he got the game back underway at the start of the second-half.
While a 100% pass success rate is always nice to have, there’s no doubt that Haaland will be a little bit frustrated at how isolated he was against Bournemouth.
City had 68 per cent possession but struggled to find the 22-year-old throughout, something that Guardiola acknowledged in his post-match press conference.
In a team that has played for much of the last two years with no centre-forward, Guardiola believes that his role is ‘the most difficult in the world’.
He explained: “The most difficult job is the world is when you are a striker against a [defence] with three central midfielders, three centre backs and you are in the middle.
“We will find many of these situations but it’s a question of time.
“With the quality of player we have behind him we will find him.”
Goalscorer Gundogan added: “He’s bringing us to a whole new dimension, bringing us a whole new quality, and he’s going to score a lot of goals.
“Today he assisted me one, so I’ll try to assist him many more in the future.
“We are very privileged and pleased to have him. He’s not just a great footballer, he’s also a great character.”
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