Why Erling Haaland was substituted before extra time against Real Madrid

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has revealed that Erling Haaland asked to be substituted heading into extra time of Wednesday’s defeat to Real Madrid.

Having struggled across both the first and second legs of the ties, Haaland headed to the bench for extra time at the Etihad Stadium, with Guardiola bringing Julian Alvarez on in his place.

Both Kevin De Bruyne and Manuel Akanji were withdrawn closer to the final whistle, and Guardiola has now admitted that all three players asked to leave the field as they felt they could not continue.

“Erling and Kevin asked me to go out, like Manu, they could not continue,” the City boss explained.

“The game we were playing they were amazing and I am not a big fan of making a lot of substitutions but Kevin, Erling and Manu asked me to go out.”

Pep GuardiolaPep Guardiola

Guardiola had to make some big decisions / Stu Forster/GettyImages

Despite the frustrating result, Guardiola refused to criticise City’s performance. They ended the game with 67% possession and 33 shots compared to Real Madrid’s eight, only to ultimately fall on penalties.

“It is what is – sometimes you win on penalties and sometimes not,” Guardiola reflected. “We should have done it before – for how we played.

“I absolutely don’t have any regrets – we did everything offensively and defensively. Football is about scoring goals and they did it a little bit better than us from the penalty spot. They are in the semi-finals and we are not. I have to say from my heart, thank you to my players. The performance, the commitment was exceptional.”


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