Manchester City Manager Pep Guardiola, says he has no concerns about Erling Haaland’s prospects in the Premier League despite a poor outing in Manchester City’s Community Shield defeat by Liverpool.

The £51 million signing from Borussia Dortmund missed two good chances, including a sitter from six yards out, and touched the ball only 16 times as City were beaten 3-1 at the King Power Stadium last night.

But Guardiola said the 22-year-old striker, who scored 85 goals in 88 games for the German side, needs time to adapt to his new surroundings. “He has incredible quality and he will do it,” the City manager said. “He had chances — two or three in the first half and one at the end. Always he was there. He fought a lot, and made the movements.

“It is good for him to see the reality in a new country and a new league, but he was there. He didn’t score.”

The Norway international should have scored a consolation in stoppage time, after Phil Foden’s shot was pushed into his path by Adrián, the Liverpool goalkeeper, but Haaland could only manage to hit the crossbar with the goal gaping.

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“He’s strong, another time he will put it in the net,” Guardiola said. “I’m not concerned or worried about that. I’d have been happy to win and him score goals but the reality is we have 11 months ahead of us that are so intense — with the World Cup [starting in November], we play every three days — and he is going to help us.”

 

For Liverpool, who lifted the Shield for the 16th time, it was their big-money forward signing that impressed in the second half. Darwin Núñez, the £85 million acquisition from Benfica, came off the bench shortly before the hour mark and made an instant impact in winning his side a penalty after his shot had hit the hand of defender Rúben Dias.

 

Mohamed Salah converted the spot kick to make it 2-1 before Núñez, 23, got the reward for his bright display by sealing the victory with a goal in stoppage time. It was the perfect response to those who had been critical of his pre-season displays before yesterday.

 

“Good, really good,” Jürgen Klopp, the Liverpool manager, said of Núñez’s performance. “Everyone judges first touches and that sort of thing, which is a joke.

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