BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom – Erling Haaland extended his remarkable start to life in the Premier League, but Pep Guardiola admitted Manchester City were not precise enough in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at struggling Aston Villa.
Haaland has been remarkably prolific since his £51 million (S$82 million) move from Borussia Dortmund in the close-season and he struck again in the second half at Villa Park.
The Norway striker’s 10th goal in his first six Premier League games gave him a share of the record with Micky Quinn, who hit the same tally for Coventry in 1992.
But Guardiola’s side were punished for failing to build on their lead as Leon Bailey’s blistering finish left the champions frustrated.
“We were not precise in our final third touches, especially in the first half. We had chances to score a second when the game was in our hands but we didn’t,” Guardiola said.
“We were just not precise enough in the crosses, we missed a few situations and that’s why we could not score. We defended well apart from one action.”
It was the first time this season City had failed to score more than once in a game, after netting 19 times in their opening five matches.
After their 3-3 draw against Newcastle in August, this was the second time they had failed to take maximum points.
Unbeaten City sit in second place, above Tottenham on goal difference and one point behind leaders Arsenal, who play their game in hand at Manchester United on Sunday.
Villa are outside the relegation zone on goals scored after a battling display that should ease the pressure on under-fire boss Steven Gerrard for a few days at least.
“I’ll always take the hits, that’s my job. The players have come together today. They put an incredible amount of effort into the game,” Gerrard said.
“We have lost too many points this season and we need to do things slightly different.”