Champions League winner Erling Haaland reminded Pep Guardiola of Johan Cruyff

Champions League winner Erling Haaland reminded Pep Guardiola of Johan Cruyff

Pep Guardiola compared Erling Haaland to Johan Cruyff after the prolific Norwegian snatched a superb final win against Borussia Dortmund.

Haaland stunned his old club with six minutes left in a close Champions League clash at the Etihad Stadium as he jumped and stretched to turn a deviant Joao Cancelo cross.

His effort completed a comeback in the City final and snatched a 2-1 win after they were 1-0 behind until John Stones scored a brilliant equalizer in the 80th minute.

It was also Haaland’s 13th goal in just nine appearances since his summer move to City from Dortmund.

City coach Guardiola, who played with the great Cruyff at Barcelona, ​​said: “Maybe people who know me know Johan Cruyff’s influence in my life as a person, mentor, coach.

“Years ago, he scored an incredible goal against Atletico Madrid at the Camp Nou. He was quite similar today with Haaland and the moment he scored it I thought “Johan Cruyff”. It was quite similar.

“It was really good and Joao’s assist was great.”

If that comparison wasn’t favorable enough, Guardiola also felt that Haaland reminded him of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

He said: “I remember my dear friend Ibrahimovic had this ability to put his leg on the roof and Erling is quite similar on that.

“I think that’s his nature. It is elastic, it is flexible and it has the ability to make contact and put the ball in the net ”.

City struggled during a goalless first half and fell behind when England international Jude Bellingham went home for Dortmund just before the hour.

Jude Bellingham put Borussia Dortmund ahead

Jude Bellingham puts Borussia Dortmund ahead (Tim Goode / PA)

Guardiola responded with a triple replacement and his changes injected new urgency into his squad.

With the Stones equalizing from distance before Haaland’s final effort, City secured a hard-fought victory that put them at the top of Group G with six points from two games.

Guardiola said: “We had a lot of trouble finding the pace and we were so passive in transition. We fought, we played in the wrong gear.

“In the last 35 minutes we realized, ‘OK, we’re 1-0 down’, and the substitutions came and gave us a new pace.

“After you can lose but this is who we are.

John Stones has brought Manchester City back on an equal footing

John Stones brought Manchester City back on an equal footing (Tim Goode / PA)

But the Champions League does not wait, it does not forgive you. They defended themselves very well “.

City also beat Dortmund 2-1 in both quarter-final matches in 2021.

Dortmund manager Edin Terzic said: “This is the third time we have had a great performance against them and the third time we have come home empty-handed.

“It’s hard to accept because the lads deserved at least one point tonight, especially when you’re ahead so close to the final whistle. But you only see the quality they have in moments like that.

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