Pep Guardiola has called Erling Haaland “a b*stard” after Manchester City beat Borussia Dortmund 2-1 on Tuesday evening.
Marco Reus cancelled out Kevin de Bruyne’s early strike before Phil Foden struck in the last minute of normal time to win the match for the Citizens.
City have been heavily linked with a move for Haaland as a number of clubs reportedly looking to tie a deal up for the Norwegian this summer.
Jude Bellingham and Haaland combined to create the chance for Reus for Dortmund’s opening goal and Guardiola had an unusual way of praising the former RB Salzburg forward.
When asked if he was surprised by the Dortmund press, Guardiola told DAZN: “No, not surprised because I faced them when I was at Bayern Munich and they played five at the back.
“The rest of them play that system and the quality of [Mahmoud] Dahoud, Bellingham and, of course, the pace of the people up front – the quality is there. We know it was.
“But when you want to press they play long balls. They play long balls to Haaland – Haaland is a b*stard. Link-up [play] is always perfect and they have the pace so we knew it was not easy to control them.”
Foden, who was our Early Winner, is expecting an “interesting game” in the second leg in Germany.
Foden said: “It was a relief. We had a lot of chances, but in the end I’m just happy to score and help the team in a crucial time.
“But of course they are a great team. They are going to have spells where they have the ball as well and it is going to be a really interesting game in the second leg.
“They’re brilliant – a lot of young players, energetic. They can be in the box with three passes so they are very dangerous. We’ll have to stay focused for the full 90.”
Before next Wednesday’s trip to Dortmund, City host Leeds on Saturday lunchtime looking to take another step towards their third Premier League title in four years.
“We are in every competition,” said Foden, 20. “We just have to think about the next one now.
“You’ve heard the manager say that all year but it is very true. We have to keep focused on the next game and keep the energy levels.”