Men's Team

Vassell: Haaland opener was ‘Manchester City all over’

Vassell: Haaland opener was ‘Manchester City all over’
Darius Vassell has described our opening strike against Aston Villa as a textbook City strike and expects to see plenty of similar goals across the campaign.

Pep Guardiola’s men opened the scoring at Villa Park early in the second half when Erling Haaland headed home Kevin De Bruyne’s inch-perfect cross to the far post.

It was the Norwegian’s tenth goal in just six Premier League appearances so far, with each of his strikes coming from inside the box.

An emphatic Leon Bailey finish, however, ensured City had to settle for a share of the spoils in the west midlands.

Nonetheless, Vassell believes the quality of our build-up play, plus the intelligent movement of Haaland and fellow striker Julian Alvarez, means goals such as the one we scored against Villa could become a regular sight this season.

“(It was) Manchester City all over and this is probably something we’ll see a lot of this season,” the former City and Aston Villa forward explained on Matchday Live.

“Getting the ball into the danger area, Haaland losing his marker and being in the air way before the player even knows the cross is coming in.

“It was a great goal, and I was saying before half-time, to try and involve him in the build-up a bit more.”

Vassell was joined by David James in the Matchday Live studio, and the former City stopper discussed City’s newest recruit, Manuel Akanji.

The defender joined the Club from Borussia Dortmund on transfer deadline day, but was left out of the squad for our 1-1 draw with Aston Villa following the birth of his second child.

With the games coming thick and fast ahead of the return of Champions League football next week, the Swiss international’s first team debut is surely on the horizon.

And former City goalkeeper James is confident that the defender will prove to be a strong addition to an already solid backline, both in terms of his footballing ability and personality.

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He said: “Centre-back is a vital part of City’s makeup.

“I was looking at his appearances for Dortmund, in the last three years he’s made around 25 or 26 appearances per season which, when you think of Pep’s rotation in that position, means he’s arguably already used to what he’ll expect to get at City.

“Absolutely [he is the perfect Pep player]. From what I’ve seen of him talking, he seems like a grounded individual.

“You need to be ground coming into this City side.

“It’s another exciting player. City have made a profit in the transfer window, it’s been exceptional business.”