Sevilla vs Manchester City: Guardiola gushes over Haaland, Foden, Akanji

·4 min read

Sevilla vs Manchester City went about as well for the visitors as you could imagine, a 4-0 showing from Pep Guardiola’s men that will stoke the fire under City fans hopeful of a first European Cup.

Erling Haaland scored twice to give him 12 goals in eight games for Man City, while Phil Foden and Ruben Dias scored on a two-assist day for Joao Cancelo.

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Guardiola was glowing after the win, heaping praise on Foden, Haaland, and debutant Manuel Akanji.

Especially Haaland.

“His numbers in his career, not just here, in previous teams were quite similar,” Guardiola said of Haaland. “He has an incredible sense for the goal and he could’ve scored two or three more. … Another battle next Saturday against Tottenham and hopefully he can continue scoring goals.”

In fact, Guardiola warned that the first half’s slowish nature, goals-wise, had to do with an overeagerness to feed the Norwegian goliath.

“Sometimes we want to arrive so so quick because Erling is there and he has this attraction to him,” Guardiola said. “Sometimes we have to make more passes.”

Guardiola credited Foden for working through down periods to deliver performances even when he’s not at his best, and was downright gushing about Akanji’s fit in City’s system.

“Phil has an incredible thing,” Guardiola said. “Lately he’s not playing [at his best] but he always does a job. Always run, always fight, and he’s always stable for the team. The goal today will help him. Phil can play in several positions. He’s dynamic in his work ethic and we can learn a lot from him: You can play bad but he’s a human being but never never can avoid [work] which Phil can do every single game and that’s why he deserves to play.”

“[Akanji] was really good. He trained no more than two days but we knew he was so strong and intelligent with the ball. Man City brought me and the club a fantastic player. We are very pleased for the performance. He’s the perfect age, 27 years old, mature, played a lot of Champions League game with Dortmund. We are very pleased.” (NM)

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How to watch Sevilla vs Manchester City live and start time

Date: Tuesday, September 6
Kick off time: 3 pm ET
Online: Live updates via NBCSports.com
How to watch: TUDN, Paramount+

Key storylines

Haaland’s 10 goals in six games are, of course, a record for the best goal-scoring start (to a season or career) in Premier League history. The big Norwegian has taken to his new team (and vice versa) better than perhaps anyone thought possible. It’s clear to see that Haaland was signed to win not the Premier League (Man City have already done that six times in the last 11 seasons, including four of the last five), but the Champions League. It’s the last remaining box to tick since Khaldoon Al Mubarak’s takeover in 2008, and Haaland’s red-hot start (and impending month of rest during the World Cup) has Manchester City looking like heavy favorites already. (JPW)

The lowdown on Sevilla

Sevilla qualified for this season’s Champions League (their sixth appearance in seven seasons) by finishing 4th in La Liga. Last season, they finished 3rd in the UCL group stage (behind Lille and Red Bull Salzburg) and advanced to the round of 16 in the Europa League, where they were bounced by West Ham United. It’s been a rocky start to the 2022-23 season, though, as Julen Lopetegui’s side sits 17th in La Liga with just one point from their first four games. (JPW

Manchester City team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Aymeric Laporte (knee), Benjamin Mendy (suspension – MORE) | QUESTIONABLE: John Stone (undisclosed), Kyle Walker (undisclosed), Kalvin Phillips (shoulder)

Sevilla vs Manchester City: Guardiola gushes over Haaland, Foden, Akanji originally appeared on NBCSports.com