Pep Guardiola hails City’s ‘incredible weapons’ with both Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez in form

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PEP GUARDIOLA hailed Erling Haaland after the Man City striker became the first player to score 50 goals in all competitions for an English top-flight club since 1931.

‘I know that Winston Churchill was not even the Prime Minister the last time the record was set that Erling (Haaland) broke,’ said the Man City manager.

Asked whether his team needed a leader like Churchill to finish the job after going top of the league for the first time since February, Guardiola responded: ‘The group of players don’t need a leader – they know what they have to do.’

Haaland’s penalty saw him go level with Andy Cole and Alan Shearer for the most goals (34) in a Premier League season.

‘He showed his mentality with his goal’ said Guardiola as Haaland converted from the spot in the third-minute at Craven Cottage, after missing from the spot against Bayern Munich.

‘We knew the game today would define a lot. Now, we have two games at home. Step-by-step and game-by-game.

‘The best mentality is to accept our opponent is not going to drop as many points. Now we have six games and we know we are closer,’ added Guardiola

‘This was definitely (one of the hardest games) and we knew it. All the time, we come from a run of victories as Arsenal didn’t drop points and it looked like the target was just beating Arsenal. Once you play that game, you can drop a little bit. I didn’t see that drop,’ the Spaniard insisted.

And Guardiola was full of praise for Julian Alvarez, who scored the winning goal with a superb strike from outside the box.

‘Julian all the time helps us, he’s incredible, every time he plays he gives us everything. These two guys are an incredible weapon that we have.’

‘If you play almost all the games to be world champion with Argentina, where there are a thousand, million exceptional players and you are able to play there, it is because he has something unique,’ said Guardiola.

‘He helped me a lot to understand that maybe in the future I have to adjust something to make both he and Kevin (De Bruyne) play. In tight games, where we play against defences with five at the back, this will be so important.

‘It’s not just the goal and the penalty. It’s the intensity in the pressure, keeping the ball, and the vision because he is an incredible, exceptional player,’ Guardiola added.

Marco Silva, on the other hand, rued the outcome of Fulham’s defeat with both Tim Ream and Andreas Pereira going off with injuries.

Silva confirmed that Ream, who played every minute of the Premier League season until Sunday, broke his arm and will be out for the rest of the season.

‘The worst thing was not the result or the performance but the two players who got injured,’ said the Fulham manager.

‘Like it was without Willian, and without (Aleksandar) Mitrovic, the last two and a half months have been tough for us, but the players keep showing their character to be competitive at this level.’

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