Pep Guardiola scolded both Erling Haaland and Ilkay Gundogan for a missed penalty kick in the 2-1 win over Leeds in round 35 of the Premier League.
At the Etihad Stadium, Man City dominated when controlling the ball 81%, finishing 18 times with six shots on target – compared to Leeds’ 4 and 2. The host led 2-0 thanks to two goals according to the same scenario – Gundogan shot at the edge of the penalty area and netted goalkeeper Joel Robles.
Man City had the opportunity to finish the game in the 84th minute, when Phil Foden was fouled in the penalty area and brought home the penalty. Guardiola wanted Haaland to do it, but the Norwegian striker took the ball and gave it to Gundogan to score a hat-trick. The German midfielder bounced off the post, and then Rodrigo scored for Leeds less than a minute later, causing the Etihad owner to spend the last minutes worried.
As soon as Gundogan missed the penalty, from the piste, Guardiola got angry. He shouted and pointed at Haaland: “You should have taken that penalty”.
When referee Andrew Madley blew the final whistle, Guardiola was furious. He ran into the field shouting at Haaland “You should have taken that penalty”.
In the post-match press conference, the Spanish coach emphasized that a 2-0 result is not enough to guarantee victory, especially in the Premier League. Therefore, he wants the designated players to take the penalty as planned.
Guardiola revealed that Riyad Mahrez was the player assigned to take the penalty after Haaland, not Gundogan. He added: “Gundogan can score, and others can miss. But in football there is no if. I admire Gundogan taking responsibility for the penalty kick, but normally, the appointee has to 11m rock. And that’s Haaland.”
Gundogan revealed that Guardiola was “furious” in the dressing room. “First, he expressed anger at Haaland, and then scolded me,” he said.
The German midfielder recounted the incident that he thought Haaland would take a penalty when he came to take the ball. But the Norwegian star gave way to his teammates, and Gundogan had to ask several times if Haaland was sure of such a decision.
However, a 2-1 result is enough for Man City to win ten consecutive matches in the Premier League and take a long step to the championship. Manchester club currently has 82 points, four points ahead of Arsenal.
In the remaining four matches against Everton, Chelsea, Brighton and Brentford, Guardiola’s army only needs to win three matches to secure the title. Meanwhile, Arsenal need to win all four remaining games against Newcastle, Brighton, Nottingham and Wolverhampton, and expect the opponent to stumble in at least two games.
Man City only has three days of rest, before the trip to the Bernabeu stadium to kick the first leg of the Champions League semi-final against Real on the evening of May 9.