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Pep Guardiola issues response to Erling Haaland 'concerns' after Champions League brace

Pep Guardiola has backed Erling Haaland to keep defying the critics after the forward scored twice in Manchester City's 3-1 victory over Young Boys on Wednesday.

City dominated the opening stages but didn't open the scoring until Manuel Akanji tapped home in the 48th minute. However, City's lead lasted a matter of moments as Meschack Elia clipped the ball over Ederson to level the scoring. Guardiola's side responded well and motored back up front, with Haaland netting from the penalty spot.

Then, the 23-year-old wrapped up the points late on with his second of the evening as City maintained their 100% Champions League record so far this season. Speaking after the game, Guardiola was quizzed about Haaland's form and criticism he has faced, having now scored 11 goals in 14 matches in all competitions this season.

"I am so concerned. Honestly, I am so concerned," Guardiola joked to TNT Sports. "Listen, it is important to have all the time the chances. The people expect him to score four goals every time.

"The people want him to fail, the people expect he won't do it, but I am sorry this guy is going to score goals all his life with the chances, the incredible threat."

Following City's win in Switzerland, they sit at the top of Group G with nine points from a possible nine, with RB Leipzig sitting second, Young Boys third and Red Star Belgrade bottom. Guardiola's side need one more win to qualify for the knockout stages and he praised his players for producing a professional performance.

Erling Haaland scored a brace for Manchester City against Young Boys (


Manuel Winterberger/Eurasia Sport)

"I had the feeling we were there. I admire my players, the way they face every competition and every game," Guardiola added. "I don't think they feel they are something special because they have won the Treble and the Champions League. We are humble enough to accept opponents can punish us.

"The finish was fantastic from Meschack Elia. I'm really pleased because you have to come here and win and I know how difficult it is. We won two games away so now it is in our hands to finish first at home and we are going to try to do it."

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