Pep Guardiola says he has told Erling Haaland he should not have let Ilkay Gundogan take Manchester City’s penalty against Leeds.
Gundogan had scored twice in the first-half at the Etihad on Saturday to give City a comfortable lead over Leeds who were under the management of Sam Allardyce for the first time.
On the 84th minute, Phil Foden was fouled in the box and with first-choice penalty takers Haaland and Riyad Mahrez still on the pitch it was expected that one of them would take the spot-kick.
But instead, Haaland handed the ball to his captain, giving Gundogan the chance to score his first career hattrick.
However, the German midfielder’s effort hit the post and to make matters worse Leeds got a goal back just a minute later courtesy of Rodrigo.
Though City held on for a 2-1 win that has extended their lead over title-rivals Arsenal to four points, Guardiola was visibly furious with Haaland for giving up the penalty, shouting ‘you have to take it’ at his star striker.
‘Who knows if Erling takes the penalty and misses? What happens if Riyad takes the penalty and misses? What happens if Ilkay Gundogan takes the penalty and scores? Guardiola asked post-match.
‘I admire that Gundo wanted to take the responsibility to take the penalty. That is the best value as a player. Normally the taker is the taker, Erling has to take it, he’s the specialist.’
‘If it is 4-0 with 10 minutes left, OK. But at 2-0? Erling is the best penalty taker right now so he has to take it.
‘Today Erling could have scored two or three goals. He played incredibly well, in his movement and everything… how he fought for us. I like to praise Erling when he does not score.
‘If Gundo scores everyone is “OK, hattrick, well done”. But a taker is a taker. At 2-0, this is a business, not a situation where we cannot forget it.’
Haaland has taken nine penalties for City this season, missing just one, while Gundogan has now converted just four of his seven for the Citizens.
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