Erling Haaland kicked off his second Premier League campaign with a double strike as Manchester City cruised past Burnley. But Pep Guardiola was left counting the cost of the opening game of their title defence with Kevin De Bruyne suffering a relapse of his hamstring injury.
Guardiola confirmed the Belgium international would be out “for a while” after he limped off midway through the opening period. “He was injured again unfortunately. Same place and position as the Champions League and he will be out for a while,” said the City boss.
“We will have to talk with the doctor and he will be back for sure. But he is down because he was injured in the Champions League final. Unfortunately he is disappointed but he is strong and he will be back.”
The half finished with City two up but Guardiola remonstrating with Haaland as the two left the pitch, a spat the City manager was keen to play down after. “There’s no problem at all. It was about a connection with the players,” said Guardiola.
“He wanted the ball in behind to him and that ball hasn’t to be in behind. Sometimes you have to be patient to find the right moment.
“He was not frustrated, I am not frustrated. In football it happens. Don’t be dramatic. He scored two goals and he’s happy. Tremendous in the second-half. We know how good he is in front of goal.”
Haaland was keen to put the discussion in context and said: “It’s a pleasure working with Pep – not sure if there’s better working with for a young player. I have to keep developing and enjoy the chaos around me and perform on the pitch.”
Overall Guardiola was happy with his side’s first outing which included Haaland scoring after three minutes four seconds for the fastest league goal since
The Spaniard continued: ”We started well. We found a goal, we struggled a bit after. We gave away balls, our pass created problems but after a while we played much, much better.”