Pep Guardiola expressed his admiration for Erling Haaland’s attitude after the striker’s Man of the Match performance against West Ham United.

The Norwegian got his Premier League career off to a perfect start at the London Stadium, where he scored both goals as Manchester City cruised to a 2-0 win.


Haaland opened the scoring from the penalty spot, coolly sending Alphonse Areola the wrong way after he was tripped by the Hammers’ goalkeeper and he wrapped up the three points with a composed strike to finish off a slick passing move.

The 22-year-old came into the game having drawn a blank on his City debut, when he missed a golden opportunity to score as we fell to a 3-1 defeat to Liverpool in the Community Shield.

But the way in which he seized the ball for the penalty suggested that miss certainly hadn’t lingered and Guardiola was particularly impressed with the confidence displayed by his new No.9.

“I know how he handled a lot of criticism this week,” he said at his post-match press conference.

“He was really calm, he trained really well but the way he took the ball for the penalty I said ‘I like it’.

“So direct and I think if someone is taking the ball, he would punch them in the face even though they are his mates!

“And that is a pretty good sign. To be so confident, I like it.”

Haaland has form when it comes to goalscoring debuts, having netted a hat-trick in his first appearance for Borussia Dortmund.

Speaking in his post-match interview, he expressed some frustration that history hadn’t repeated itself against West Ham and, whilst Guardiola was delighted with his performance, he was pleased to hear his striker exhibiting the hunger he feels all top players have.

“That’s good I like it,” added the boss.

“I was fortunate as manager to be with Messi and when he scored two, he wanted three, and when scored three he wants four.

“The top goalscorers are never satisfied, they are always hungry and starving and want more.”

In Haaland, City have signed the type of out-and-out striker that we’ve been without since Sergio Aguero’s departure and his two-goal showing in East London highlighted the threat he’ll bring to the Premier League champions.

Guardiola acknowledged the striker adds a new dimension to his team, but says the rest of the team have an important role to play in getting the best out of the him, as was evidenced by the incisive move that led to our second goal.

“Erling scoring the two goals, it’s important for him and the team and for us and it’s another weapon we have now.

“But at the same time he’s not going to solve all our problems, he’s going to add something to us as a team. That’s what we are looking for.

“Today, the two goals they were balls in front the centre of defence and we had the feeling we could find him more.

“In the past we didn’t have a reference like him and now have it again but at the same time the guys have to put the ball there, especially in transitions.”

“It was an incredible second goal and incredible action from Jack.

“The ball was fed to him, he keeps the ball and attracts the opponents and found a pocket and when this happens with Kevin, with one guy, it’s difficult to stop.”