Even without scoring City’s star striker makes a devastating impact

Manchester City’s star striker Erling Haaland made his return to the starting lineup during their 3-1 win over Brentford overnight. While he didn’t get on the score sheet his presence on the pitch was enough to make an impact in a crucial game for Pep Guardiola’s side.

Haaland should’ve scored during last night’s game. He did see his only chance of note during the first half. He was presented with a golden chance to equalise just after Neil Maupay’s opener. But his shot when he was clean through on goal was well saved by an inspired Mark Flekken in Brentford’s goal.

But despite being starved of clear-cut chances Haaland still had a profound impact on the game. Just by being on the pitch he occupied two Brentford defenders at all times before he was substituted. With Haaland occupying the Bees’s defence it provided space for Phil Foden to thrive. It was evident for City’s second when Phil Foden got on the end of a Kevin De Bruyne cross to give City the lead. When the ball was played two Brentford defenders were drawn to Haaland and Foden had acres of space to head home.

He would also set up Phil Foden’s third with a beautiful layoff. It was a sparkling piece of play from Pep Guardiola’s side and wrapped up a crucial win.

The next step in the evolution of Erling Haaland’s game has been him getting more involved in the play. In his first start since City’s 1-nil loss to Aston Villa in early December, it is clear that his game is evolving.

The goals will come for Erling Haaland as he builds up his fitness after two months out but his performance last night is a strong base to build from as he returns from injury.

Tags Brentford English Premier League Erling Haaland Kevin De Bruyne Manchester City Pep Guardiola Phil Foden