Pep Guardiola has explained why he decided to take Erling Haaland off at half-time of Manchester City’s win against Leicester City.
Barely a week goes by when Fantasy Premier League players aren’t bemoaning Guardiola, with many of us falling foul of ‘Pep Roulette’ of a week.
No doubt it would have been the case on Saturday, when City’s lineup for their game with Leicester City was announced, with Aymeric Laporte the surprise inclusion.
At least most fans of the game would have been happy to see Haaland bag two goals in the first half, as the hosts made a blistering start against the Foxes.
It took just 13 minutes for the Norwegian to get on the scoresheet, putting home a penalty after Wilfred Ndidi handled Jack Grealish’s cross, to put City 2-0 up after John Stones opened the scoring.
The former Borussia Dortmund striker doubled his tally for the day, as Kevin de Bruyne set him up, after dispossessing Ndid, to make it 3-0 after 25 minutes.
The goal brought up Haaland’s 32nd in the league, and level with Mohamed Salah’s record of most goals scored in a 20 team Premier League season.
However, that’s when Guardiola struck to deny the 22-year-old a chance to break the record and FPL players more points, taking him off at half-time.
The City manager explained after the match why, “We [made] subs to let players rest, but we lost some control, though in general it was a deserved victory,” he told Match of the Day.
“We start the game to win the game. The game is never done until it’s done.
“But after 3-0, and especially with the control and Erling Haaland playing all 90 minutes against Bayern Munich, we have to think about injuries.”
John Stones also came off at half time, whilst Rodri lasted only eight minutes of the second half until he was brought off, as Guardiola planned ahead.
However, it was the visitors’ change which worked out the best, as Kelechi Iheanacho came on for Jamie Vardy at the break, and the striker scored the only goal of the second half, against his former side.
The defending league champions shouldn’t worry about their striker’s fitness for their next game too much, as they already have a three goal lead over Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
The manager’s decision to remove Haaland shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, seeing as it’s not the first time it’s happened recently.