Roy Keane makes title prediction as Haaland reaches ‘Championship’ level in Man City win

Will Ford
Roy Keane gives a cheeky smile during ITV coverage.
Manchester United legend Roy Keane gives a cheeky smile.

Roy Keane hailed ‘Championship player’ Erling Haaland after the striker’s goal for Manchester City in their 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest on Sunday.

City were well short of their best in a first half in which Forest had the better chances and could have been two or three golas ahead before Josko Gvardiol headed in from Kevin De Bruyne’s corner.

A Pep Guardiola substitution at half-time turned the tide in City’s favour and De Bruyne was again the creator, setting up Haaland for his 32nd goal of the season.

‘He had improved a lot!’

Despite that goalscoring form, Keane recently likened the Norwegian’s contribution in games to that of a “League Two striker”, and made reference to that controversial take in his analysis of his performance.

Speaking on Sky Sports after the game, Keane said: “He was very much like a Championship player, he has improved a lot! In terms of a goalscorer he is absolutely amazing, there’s no doubting his quality in terms of his finishing.

“When he’s coming on he will want to have an impact on the game and when it’s stretched like that he’s got people like De Bruyne, he’s going to find you and then it’s just that bit of sharpness which he has shown.”

Keane’s title prediction

Reflecting on a weekend in which Liverpool drew with West Ham and Arsenal sneaked past Tottenham in the North London derby, Keane reckons City have the title in the bag.

“City’s players must have great belief in themselves and each other. After 20 to 25 minutes you’re thinking Forest are doing well, creating chances, but you’re still thinking that City will eventually get themselves going,” Keane added.

“In the second half City got more control, they bring Haaland on, [Kevin] De Bruyne then starts flexing his muscles.

“De Bruyne, for his two goals, generally wasn’t at his very best, but they know they have another gear to go to.

“They had a tough game in midweek and they were outstanding. Today it was a case of let’s get this job done.

“Phil Foden was a loss but the one thing I look at when I look at Manchester City and their players and their subs… the word that springs to mind is ‘quality’. It’s just pure quality from the players they’ve got.

“Even today when they weren’t at it, they can turn to set pieces with their delivery, people attacking the ball, options off the bench. It’s so difficult to stop.”