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Pep Guardiola says Lionel Messi is still a class above Erling Haaland

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Pep Guardiola says Lionel Messi is still a class above Erling Haaland ‘who needs all his friends’ to do the job – despite the Man City manager’s £51m striker showing blistering form …including three consecutive hat-tricks at home

  • Manchester City defeated United 6-3 in the Manchester derby on Sunday afternoon
  • Erling Haaland and Phil Foden scored hat-tricks in Premier League draw
  • Guardiola was asked if Haaland would score as much as Lionel Messi at Barca
  • He said Messi could score alone, but Haaland needs teammates

Pep Guardiola says Erling Haaland is not on the same level as Lionel Messi as he relies on his team-mates to help him score goals at Manchester City.

The Norwegian striker scored a hat-trick on Sunday afternoon in City’s 6-3 win over United in the Manchester derby.

Guardiola praised Haaland’s contribution but said Messi was still in a league above him given his “ability” to do it all himself.

Pep Guardiola says Erling Haaland is not on the same level as PSG striker Lionel Messi

Guardiola spoke of the difference between Haaland and Messi when asked if the Norwegian striker could match Messi’s success at Barcelona by scoring every time he plays.

After City’s win over United, Guardiola said: “The difference is that Erling might need all his friends to do it. It’s unbelievable. [But] Messi had it in his own hands.’

Fans took to social media to discuss Guardiola’s comments. Some criticized the manager for downplaying Haaland’s talent, while others praised Messi.

Guardiola spoke of the difference between Haaland and Messi when asked if the Norwegian striker could match Messi's success at Barcelona by scoring every time he plays.

Guardiola spoke of the difference between Haaland and Messi when asked if the Norwegian striker could match Messi’s success at Barcelona by scoring every time he plays.

Guardiola said Haaland relies on his team-mates to help him score goals at Manchester City and said Messi is capable of doing it all himself

Guardiola said Haaland relies on his team-mates to help him score goals at Manchester City and said Messi is capable of doing it all himself

One supporter wrote: ‘That’s the truth. Messi doesn’t need to be fed, while other players need to be fed.”

Another said: ‘If Messi were to play in the Premier League at his peak, they would go crazy.’

Meanwhile, one fan wrote: “It is true that Messi scored some great individual goals, but he had team-mates like Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets and Yaya Toure for most of his goals.”

Another seemed to suggest Guardiola wasn’t telling the truth: “Not quite true about Messi. Why didn’t he do it all alone after players like Xavi, Iniesta and Neymar all left. He has not even been able to deliver the UCL to the Camp Nou side since 2015 after Neymar, Iniesta and Xavi left. Capping by Pep’.

Haaland became the first City player to score a hat-trick against United since Francis Lee

Haaland became the first City player to score a hat-trick against United since Francis Lee

Guardiola’s comments came after Haaland scored a hat-trick against United in the Manchester derby on Sunday.

Haaland found the back of the net twice in the first half and helped City 4-0 into the break.

He completed his hat-trick with a close-range finish in 64 minutes to bring his season tally to 17 and break a number of records in the process.

As a result, Haaland has now scored three consecutive hat-tricks at home, the first player to do so in the Premier League.

The 22-year-old is also the first City player to score a hat-trick against United since Francis Lee in December 1970 and the third overall after Horance Barnes in 1921.

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