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Man City wants to emulate Real Madrid’s feats

Man City wants to emulate Real Madrid’s feats.Manchester United: Erling Haaland is still under fire as Manchester City approaches a second straight treble, but Real Madrid will be at the Etihad on Wednesday looking to exact revenge for their Champions League exit the previous year.

The 14-time European champions were humiliated 4-0 during their semi-final visit to Manchester 11 months prior, as City emerged victorious in the FA Cup, Premier League, and Champions League for the first time.

Even in the absence of their prolific Norwegian playing at the same level as last season, Pep Guardiola’s team is 12 games away from repeating that incredible achievement. Although Haaland’s return of 31 goals in 38 games this season is still impressive, he has failed to score in 13 of his last 20 club and national team games and has not scored in City’s three previous meetings with Madrid.

In addition, the 23-year-old has come under fire for providing only goals. Jamie Carragher, a former defender for Liverpool, called Haaland the “ultimate luxury player” who hasn’t quite reached “world-class” status.

The former captain of Manchester United, Roy Keane, who was famously sent off in a Manchester derby for deliberately lunging at Haaland’s father, Alf-Inge, because of a long-standing rivalry, went one step further and said the hold-up play of the City striker was similar to that of a player in League Two, the fourth division in England.

Following a thrilling first leg that ended 3-3 last week at the Santiago Bernabeu, where Haaland failed to score for the second straight year, the Spanish press has been equally critical. The Madrid sports daily Marca referred to his performance as “impotent,” and AS called his attempts to overcome Antonio Rudiger “clumsy and desperate.” After Rudiger kept Haaland quiet in the Bernabeu last season, Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti will not make the same mistake this time around by sitting the German midfielder out of the second leg.

Guardiola’s support

Guardiola, the manager of City, has been fiercely protective of his star striker, citing Haaland’s two seasons at the club as well as the team’s overall performance. This season, the English champions have already won the Club World Cup and the UEFA Super Cup, and more trophies are probably on the way.

With six games remaining, City leads the Premier League by two points. On Saturday, they will play Chelsea in the FA Cup semifinals. Haaland can, however, make a statement on a global scale and advance his chances of winning the Ballon d’Or, which is given annually to the best player in the world, by aiding in the team’s retention of the Champions League.

“Winning trophies is the goal; he accomplished it, not winning the Ballon d’Or. Without him, would we have taken home five trophies from last year? When asked about the critics of Haaland, Guardiola responded, “Not a chance.” Guardiola also thinks the forward’s presence did make a significant difference in Madrid, where the Real defense tracked Haaland, giving Phil Foden and Josko Gvardiol space on the edge of the box to score incredible goals.

Guardiola continued, “He assists us in creating additional space in the areas, and his contribution has been outstanding since the day he arrived last season.” By making plenty of room for the other players to score, he assisted us in scoring a few of the goals. I observed in his

Although City’s performance in the Spanish capital is not as noteworthy as it would have been in the days of away goals, their formidable home record has made them favorites to advance to the semi-finals for the fourth time running.

The holders are unbeaten in 41 home games across all competitions since November 2022 and have not lost in 30 Champions League games at the Etihad since 2018. Guardiola declared, “There is not a single minute where we will not do what we have to do.” As a team, strive to attack them while remaining modest and showing unity. We think we’re capable of it.- AFP

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