Men's Team

Guardiola: Haaland is a huge help to De Bruyne

Guardiola: Haaland is a huge help to De Bruyne
Pep Guardiola believes Erling Haaland's effect on opposition defenders is helping Kevin De Bruyne to be at his creative best.

The Belgian midfielder has registered nine assists in the first nine Premier League matches of the season, with the latest coming when he teed up Phil Foden in Saturday's 4-0 win over Southampton.

With Haaland occupying central defenders and providing a devastating goal threat - he now has 20 in his 13 competitive appearances for City - De Bruyne is free to find more space.

City 4-0 Saints | Match gallery

The 31-year-old has already forged an excellent connection with the Norwegian striker.

However, after De Bruyne's performance against Southampton, the manager is still asking for more.

"For Kevin - especially Kevin - to have this threat, pace and movement in behind helps a lot," said Guardiola.

"He made plenty of assists but he could play better today - this was not the best Kevin we know. He was not in the position we should find him but Kevin has Julian, Phil and these players who make movements in behind."

Saturday's victory came through goals from Joao Cancelo, Foden, Riyad Mahrez and Haaland.

Having drawn both league matches with Southampton last season, it was a welcome result against a side Guardiola has long admired.

"In general we played very well against a team we have struggled against a lot," said the manager.

"We changed our setup, our build-up. We created chances and we had a feeling those upfront could have been more clinical, but it’s fine. After a game every three days the players react like who they are."

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