Henry claims Haaland fails to do ‘bare minimum’ as Arsenal icon highlights one area of improvement

Lewis Oldham
Haaland Man City
Erling Haaland is criticised by Thierry Henry.

Arsenal icon Thierry Henry criticised Manchester City forward Erling Haaland after Pep Guardiola were dumped out of the Champions League by Real Madrid.

Man City were held to a thrilling 3-3 draw against Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final at the Santiago Bernabeu and Pep Guardiola’s were knocked out of the competition in heartbreaking fashion on Wednesday night.

“I didn’t like it…”

Brazil international Rodrygo scored against Man City *once again* to give Real Madrid a 4-3 aggregate lead inside 15 minutes of the return leg.

Real Madrid produced an excellent defensive performance as they kept Man City at bay for much of the 90 minutes, but Kevin De Bruyne netted a deserved late equaliser to take the game into extra-time.

Most of the players were out on their feet by the end of extra-time so the teams settled for penalties. Real Madrid won the shoot-out as Bernardo Silva and Mateo Kovacic had their attempts saved by Andriy Lunin.

In the aftermath of this game, Haaland has been criticised as he failed to make an impact in the quarter-finals. Ex-Chelsea star Antonio Rudiger dominated him in the first leg and he was replaced by Julian Alvarez before extra-time at the Etihad having failed to get on the scoresheet.

👉 Manchester City once again left ruing lack of knockout punch as Real Madrid eke out shootout win
👉 Guardiola reveals Haaland and two Man City team-mates ‘asked’ to come off vs Real Madrid

Speaking post-match, Man City boss Pep Guardiola revealed Haaland, De Bruyne and Manuel Akanji “asked” to come off as they “could not continue”. 

During CBS Sports’ coverage of the second leg, Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher asked: “Why do you think Erling Haaland for the size of him doesn’t like physical contact with the defender?”

Henry responded: “I didn’t like it. It’s the same. I’m not small. But it’s not my thing. I wasn’t a Drogba, I wasn’t a Viduka or a Shearer. I don’t think he’s that type of guy who will go and play like that but you need the bare minimum, being able to control that ball.”

“That happens to everybody…”

Before the return leg, Arsenal legend Arsene Wenger claimed Haaland is an “exceptional football player” who is going through a “difficult patch”.

“First of all, [Erling] Haaland is an exceptional football player”, Wenger said on beIN SPORTS.

“To score a goal in a football game is difficult. And when a guy scores 40 every year, no matter where he plays, you can say he’s a great football player. After that, he goes a little bit now through a difficult patch. That happens to everybody.”

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Regarding Haaland missing Ilkay Gundogan, he added: “And [Erling] Haaland now, everybody knows, we speak about tonight, Haaland last year benefited a lot from [Ilkay] Gundogan, who went in the box and occupied one or two players and he had a bit more freedom.

“Now, I find him a lot of many times alone in the box against three, four players, you don’t need to be a good player, you need to be a monster there.”

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