In what was a hard-fought Etihad encounter against a determined and talented Fulham, Julian Alvarez gave City a 17th minute lead before Joao Cancelo was red carded as the visitors drew level from the penalty spot through Andreas Pereira.
Haaland, who returned from injury as a second half replacement, saw a goal ruled out for offside before, with a draw looking likely, City were awarded a penalty of our own deep into stoppage time after Kevin De Bruyne was brought down.
After a lengthy wait, Haaland fired home from the spot for his 18th Premier League goal of the season to spark scenes of joy and jubilation around the Etihad as we celebrated a seventh league win out of seven at home.
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And as he reflected on a priceless victory that sent City top of the Premier League – for 24 hours at least ahead of Arsenal’s game tomorrow – the boss was effusive in his praise for his players – and the emotions stirred by this latest success.
“We didn't win the Premier League today, but this moment makes sense for our job,” Guardiola declared.
“Everyone was exceptional, Playing for 65 minutes v Fulham with 10 men, the way we played, the moment and my period here in Manchester celebrating with the fans…
“(Seeing) the faces in the crowds, the run round the pitch - it was very good.
“(It was) So exciting, the emotion as a manager. After seven years here, you have doubts, (you have) thousands of training sessions and matches and travel but still they are alive and want to do it.
“It makes me so, so proud.”
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The boss also had special words of praise for the way City’s midfield sought to wrest control of the game – signalling out Kevin De Bruyne in particular for another stellar performance after his match-winning exploits at Leicester last week.
“You can’t attack quick because they attack quicker. The four in the middle were amazing, Bernardo, Gundo, Rodri, Kevin especially,” Guardiola added.
“Kevin against Leicester and today, he put the team on his shoulders.”
The boss also said there was a lesson for his players to digest in the light of Fulham’s penalty with Cancelo dismissed for a foul on Harry Wilson when he was the last defender.
“I think it was the last man. Soft contact or not, there can’t be contact,” Pep added.
“He deserved the red. I say many times to all the players, outside the box after 85 minutes make a foul.
“But (at that stage of the game), let them score. Okay 1-1, penalty 1-1 but (playing) 10 v 11 is too much.
“Hopefully we can learn, not Joao, all of us. It happens in football - if you lose the duel with the striker, it can happen, rely on Eddie, he can save it.”