Man City 2-1 Borussia Dortmund: The night Erling imitated Haaland Cruyff in the Champions League

Erling Haaland’s goal drew comparisons with Johan Cruyff

“They didn’t stop me. I scored.”

When he was told after Manchester City’s victory over Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Wednesday night that the German side had defended well against it, Erling Haaland’s response was rude.

For more than 80 minutes, Dortmund kept their former star quiet. He had only 26 touches per match – the fewest touches ever. But that didn’t stop him from having the last word.

Even with the young striker’s increasingly high levels, his winner here was particularly impressive. The assist – a lavish cross on the outside by Joao Cancelo – was good enough on its own.

The finish, in which Haaland himself threw the ball and an acrobatic shot past goalkeeper Alex Mayer, was arguably his best 13 goals in nine games for Manchester City so far.

He was highly praised by his manager, Pep Guardiola, who compared Haaland to former Barcelona coach Johan Cruyff.

In a match against Atlético Madrid in 1973, Cruyff leapt into the air off the far post, turning a cross into the net from a remarkably acute angle with his outside right heel at chest height.

Known as the fake goal, it’s one of the Dutchman’s most famous hits – one that Guardiola feels Haaland replicated perfectly.

“What a goal,” he said. “I remember a long time ago in Barcelona that Johan Cruyff scored a very similar goal against Atletico Madrid. It’s great that Erling emulates Johan Cruyff.

“People who know me probably know Cruyff’s impact in my life as a person, a teacher and a manager. Years ago, he scored at Camp Nou and scored a goal against Atleti, it was very similar to Haaland and the moment he scored I felt Cruyff, it was very similar.”

On a night when City looked on their way to a disappointing result, it was another reminder of the ninth-placed’s game-changing qualities.

Haaland has now scored 26 goals in 21 Champions League matches, a goal every 62 minutes on average.

Former Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand said on BT Sport: “What I love about him is that a lot of strikers will panic when they don’t get a lot of the ball. He’s calm and just thinks, ‘I want goals. It’s so.’ It’s all about Final product and winning games for Haaland.

“Only some players can go into the winning dressing room and fitness smoothly, there must be arrogance and confidence. It offers a lot.”

“he is [Guardiola] Don’t try to compare it [Cruyff and Haaland] As players, they are players who make moments. He’s the only one who would have scored that goal tonight.”

Dion Dublin, the former Aston Villa striker, said on BBC Radio 5 Live: “Any other player would have tried to hit it with his right foot in volleyball, but Haaland went with his left foot. It’s hard to describe. She’s at least eight feet in the air when Connects to the ball, it’s a great finishing touch.

“He went with the right foot obviously because he went at the back of the net! He’s a left-footed player and a lot of times, you’re going to do things in a funky way with your good foot which makes it look really tough, but you’re more comfortable because it’s your good foot.

“Man City were subpar, but even so, they crossed the line. Two very good goals. The Stones goal was 22 yards, what a shot.

“And then you have Haaland. I don’t know what he’s thinking, finishing the wrong side of his foot in the air. A very cool finish.”

For Dortmund, having taken the lead through the outstanding Judd Bellingham and keeping Haaland for so long, this was a tough defeat.

“It wasn’t one of those games where you can have the ball and have a lot of the ball,” Bellingham said afterwards. “We knew we would spend most of the game without the ball.

“We’ve been great for 75 minutes but that’s enough time for City to take you away.

“That’s what great teams can do. You don’t give them a sniff and they don’t score from anything and you put the game back in their favor.”

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