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Pep Guardiola explains why Erling Haaland didn't take Man City penalty in Aston Villa win

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Pep Guardiola has admitted that he is unsure why ‘first taker’ Erling Haaland did not take Manchester City’s penalty kick in the win over Aston Villa.


City cruised to a crucial victory over Villa on Sunday thanks to first half goals from Rodri, Ilkay Gundogan and a penalty from Riyad Mahrez.

There was plenty of confusion however when Mahrez, and not Haaland, stepped up to take the aforementioned penalty. Speaking to the press following the win, City manager Guardiola echoed that confusion.

“Normally Erling is the first taker,” Guardiola clarified. “I wanted that but Riyad always tries to do it, Rodri was involved. I don’t know what happened.

“Tomorrow [Monday] we will speak with them. I like when people want to take penalties but always there is one that is the main one and that is Erling.”

The forward failed to score for a second consecutive Premier League game on Sunday and, to makes matters worse, he was then forced off at half-time with a suspected injury.

Guardiola discussed the injury in his post-match press conference too, saying: “If he’s not ready, we’ll play another one. Hopefully he’s ready like everyone but we’ll see.”

Guardiola continued: “At half-time I spoke with the doctors. They said maybe with the score like it is we don’t take risks, and I agreed.

“If the score was tighter, then maybe I don’t do it. I think he is not injured but on Monday we are going to see. Hopefully he can be in for Wednesday. But if he is not ready or there is some risk, he is not going to play.”