City march on despite Haaland penalty dramas, Liverpool boo anthem, Wolves safe

EPL, Erling Braut Haaland, featured, football, Manchester city, Premier League

Pep Guardiola has refused to criticise Ilkay Gundogan and Erling Haaland over the circumstances surrounding a missed penalty in Manchester City’s unexpectedly narrow 2-1 Premier League win over Leeds.

Regular taker Haaland deferred to Gundogan when City were awarded a late spot-kick at the Etihad Stadium to allow the German a chance to complete a hat trick.

Much to Guardiola’s obvious frustration, Gundogan’s effort was saved by goalkeeper Joel Robles, before Rodrigo pulled one back for relegation-threatened Leeds moments later.

That set up a grandstand finish to what had seemed a straightforward assignment for the champions after Gundogan’s two well-taken efforts in the first half.

Guardiola was caught on camera saying he felt Haaland, who did not add to the 51 goals he has scored this season but twice hit the woodwork, should have taken the penalty.

The Spaniard, however, had calmed down by the time he undertook his post-match media duties.

“The performance was excellent,” Guardiola said. 

“I am not going to explain my feelings about the last five, six, or seven minutes because in general it was really good.

“Who knows if Erling had taken the penalty and missed? What happens if Riyad (Mahrez) takes it and misses? What happens if Ilkay Gundogan takes the penalty and scores?

“The question is, if it is 2-0 who is the taker? If it is 2-0 Erling or Riyad has to take it.

“But (it shows) how Erling is as a person. He is incredible and wants to score goals, but at the same time mates are important. He is so nice and generous.

“The game could have been over, but I understand both sides. Ilkay has never scored a hat trick and he wanted him to do it.

“Gundo scored two incredible goals. How good did he play today? He has everything.”

The frantic finish gave new Leeds manager Sam Allardyce some positives to cling to from what had been a largely poor performance from his struggling side.

Leeds are outside the bottom three only on goal difference and Allardyce, appointed earlier this week, now has just three games to guide them to safety.

“We scored and then the game was on and they were showing a bit of nerves,” he said. 

“When you get Manchester City playing by the corner flag in the last five minutes you know you must still be in with a chance.”

Mo Salah’s goal in a 1-0 win over Brentford propelled Liverpool closer to the top four and deflected attention away from the booing of the national anthem at Anfield on coronation day.

 Tottenham scored a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace with a Harry Kane strike, his 209th in the Premier League, which moved him ahead of Wayne Rooney and into outright second on the all-time top scorer list.

Chelsea halted their six-match losing streak with a 3-1 win at Bournemouth.

Resilient Wolves edged derby rivals Aston Villa 1-0 to end any lingering fears of relegation.


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