Manchester City took a big step towards the national title on Saturday afternoon. They beat Leeds United 2-1 at home, but The Citizens made things unnecessarily difficult for themselves in the closing stages. The finger was pointed at Erling Haaland for refusing to take a penalty at 2-0.
Halfway through the game with Leeds United, Manchester City held a comfortable 2-0 lead. The game could have been over with six minutes to go, when City were awarded a penalty. Regular penalty taker Erling Haaland refused to take it, however, much to everyone's surprise. The Norwegian wanted to give teammate Ilkay Gündogan a chance to complete his hattrick.
From the sidelines, Guardiola was seemingly fuming yelled at his striker to take the penalty. But the Spanish coach's message did not arrive. 'You have to take them,' Guardiola shouted in vein, after which - undoubtedly to his horror - he saw Gündogan behind the ball. And what Guardiola already feared happened. The German missed and a few minutes later Leeds United scored making the score 2-1, instead of 3-0. Several tense minutes of injury time followed, but fortunately for City without consequences.
Afterwards, Guardiola returned to the BBC when he addressed Haaland. 'The match wasn't over yet. Erling is the best penalty taker, so he has to take it. If it's 4-0 with ten minutes to go, okay. But at 2-0? On the other hand, it shows what kind of person Erling is. He wants to score, but the team and his teammates are just as important.' Manchester City have a four-point lead over number two Arsenal, with four matches to play.
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