Guardiola urges Haaland to “play with passion” against Chelsea
Guardiola encourages Haaland to “play with emotion” against Chelsea and defends the Man City star’s fiery performance in the Everton draw.
Throughout the New Year’s Eve game, the Norwegian and Toffees centre-back Ben Godfrey got into a physical altercation. Godfrey appeared to be getting on Haaland’s nerves because he was spotted energizing the crowd after winning a free kick and then celebrating in front of the defender after scoring his 21st Premier League goal of the year.
He was also warned for tackling Vitaliy Mykolenko in a lunge before catching James Tarkowski with an extended arm. After the game, Guardiola admitted that he had spoken to the striker about controlling his emotions. Still, the City manager doesn’t want him to hold back on Thursday night at Stamford Bridge.
Guardiola wants to see the same “passion” in City’s crucial clash with Chelsea, as he told a pre-match press conference: “I like it, the extra limit. Not just him, everyone. His behaviours, you always have to use [points to his head]. But play with this passion.
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That is necessary. I prefer that than to be flat. Strikers have to handle tough, tough central defenders.It’s necessary. Tomorrow he’ll have a battle with Koulibaly and Thiago Silva. Always it’s a big challenge and that’s why the Premier League is so special.”
Guardiola expects another “tough” test against the Blues and has admitted City cannot afford any more slip-ups in their pursuit of league leaders Arsenal. “[It will be a] tough game, tough side, well managed, Stamford Bridge, what can you say, always difficult, looking forward to this week, the different competitions and the next three games,” he added.
“We have to reduce the gap by playing good and winning games, but they could do more than 100 points if they keep this average and we will not catch them, we have to be almost perfect and hope they drop, last night [against Newcastle] they were excellent.”
The defending champions are scheduled to play three games in the upcoming eight days. They will play Chelsea in the Premier League and FA Cup on Thursday and Sunday, respectively, before focusing on their League Cup quarterfinal matchup with Southampton on January 11