Young Boys 1, Manchester City 3 (UEFA Champions League)
A double strike from Erling Haaland put Manchester City on the brink of qualification from their Champions League group with a comfortable win over Young Boys in Switzerland.Embed from Getty Images
Key City players were rested ahead of Sunday’s Manchester derby after doubts were cast over the infamous plastic pitch in the Wankdorf Stadium.
But Haaland seems to be returning to form after three goals in the last two games for City following a three game domestic goal drought.
His double on the night took him to 11 goals for the season from 14 games.
City boss Pep Guardiola backed the Norwegian to continue his form, saying: “Erling has pressure on him to score seven goals in every single game, people want him to fail.
“His second goal was really good.
“But I don’t only judge him on only scoring goals. But when he arrives in the box he will be more clever.
“In the Champions League we can’t miss chances.
On Sunday’s forthcoming derby, Guardiola added: “The derby is important, United will have a lot of confidence after their victory over Copenhagen.
“Some of the players are tired, Julian [Alvarez] can’t play 90 minutes, and Phil [Foden] has a little problem.
Haaland put City back into the lead with a well taken spot kick in the 67th minute after Mohamed Ali Camara fouled Jack Grealish who was in good form until he faded later in the game.
The Norwegian made sure of the win with his second of the night with 4 minutes to go.
Returning to his homeland, Manuel Akanji’s tap-in had earlier given City after 48 minutes after City had dominated the first half.
But the Swiss Champions swiftly drew level after Meschack Elia chipped Ederson four minutes later – meaning City have only managed three clean sheets in their last 14 games.
If Manchester United think that gives them hope for the derby on Sunday then they should bear in mind that Haaland, who now has 37 goals in 33 Champions league games, might have been joined on the scoresheet by Alvarez whose cool finish was chalked off following a Grealish handball spotted by VAR.