SEVILLE, Spain – Pep Guardiola says the “incredible” Erling Haaland will be even more deadly once Manchester City adapt to the Norway striker after his double inspired a 4-0 rout of Sevilla in Tuesday’s Champions League opener.

Haaland’s latest display of his sublime predatory instincts ensured City started their Group G campaign in emphatic fashion at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium.

The 22-year-old put City ahead in the first half and he netted again after the interval as Phil Foden and Ruben Dias also scored.

Guardiola this week insisted City cannot pin all their Champions League hopes on Haaland.

But he has made an incredible start to his City career following his £51 million (S$80 million) move from Borussia Dortmund, scoring 12 goals in just seven games in all competitions.

Haaland has scored 25 times in 20 Champions League games, a tally that now includes goals on his debuts in the competition for City, Dortmund and Red Bull Salzburg.

However, Guardiola insisted City still have not learned the best way to play with Haaland because they sometimes try to involve him too quickly.

“We made not a good first half. We wanted to attack too quick. Sometimes we want to rush so quick because Erling is there,” Guardiola said.

“You have this attraction of him, we want to attack it sometimes. We have to be more patient.

“I didn’t say I don’t prefer to have him! I think his numbers in all his career are quite similar. He has an incredible sense of goal.

“He scored two in the centre and had chances for two or three more. We have incredible numbers scoring goals and we want to continue like that.”

City’s stroll in southern Spain was just what the Premier League champions needed after the frustration of Saturday’s draw at Aston Villa.

Pitted in a group also featuring Dortmund and FC Copenhagen, City will expect to qualify comfortably if Haaland continues this kind of form.

Last modified: September 7, 2022