Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says his side had to change their style of play to accommodate the prolific Erling Haaland.
Some critics have argued that City haven’t been as good overall since Haaland’s arrival from Borussia Dortmund.
“We know his quality. We can’t play a false nine with him and we have to adapt certain moves,” Guardiola said.
“He has to get the balls delivered as much as possible. We have fantastic players around him but the first goal is because he’s there and Kevin’s delivery [de Bruyne] is fantastic.”
Haaland’s goals against Wolves came within 12 minutes either side of half-time, and only Alan Shearer has scored more Premier League hat-tricks in a single campaign.
In just half a season, Haaland hit a third of City legend Sergio Aguero’s Premier League record 12 hat-tricks, which took the Argentine a decade. He needs seven goals to match Mohamed Salah’s best for a 38-game season.
Haaland’s efforts have come at the end of a period when his overall contribution has been questioned by some.
“It’s a gray view of this sort of thing,” added the City Manager.
“He lives 24 hours a day for his profession, his work, his passion, his love. He doesn’t stress much when things are going well or badly. He is stable. He feels the defeats.
“When he scores I don’t know how many hat-tricks and goals, he is the solution in our team. But when he doesn’t score, he is a problem in our team.”
After dropping four points from three games, City responded with back-to-back wins over a four-day spell which fueled optimism of a title challenge, although Guardiola admitted it was just a matter of ‘one match’ when asked what the next answer was. his rant at the end of the victory against Tottenham Last week.
Foden’s foot problem
England midfielder Phil Foden was a surprise absentee from City’s squad.
Guardiola has revealed Foden suffered a foot injury during a challenge with Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the Manchester derby at Old Trafford on January 14.
Although he was on the bench for the Tottenham game, Guardiola said the injury has not improved.
“He’s struggling,” he said. “It’s painful, then after two or three days of rest it gets better. Then it starts and it’s fine.
“He can’t train well and feels a bit uncomfortable, so we all decided to give him a few days off to see if he’s better.”