Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says a tactical misunderstanding was behind his half-time ‘argument’ with Erling Haaland at Turf Moor.
Haaland took just three minutes to open his account for the campaign when he prodded home Rodri’s knockdown from close-range.
The Norwegian had his second before half-time when he cannoned an effort off the crossbar and Rodri smashed home twenty minutes from time when the Clarets failed to clear Phil Foden’s free-kick.
But while it was a comprehensive victory and a pleasing way to start his side’s defence of their Premier League crown, Guardiola appeared far from pleased with Haaland at half-time.
As the two teams made their way to the tunnel, Guardiola could be seen gesturing in Haaland’s face and he pushed a Sky Sports camera away in a bid to stop them capturing the footage.
But Guardiola says there was not a heated altercation, and the ‘argument’ was instead down to the fact that Haaland wanted the ball in behind Burnley’s defence even though the plan had been for him to come short.
Pep Guardiola having words with Erling Haaland at the end of the first half 👀 pic.twitter.com/ML8nUeyh8I— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) August 11, 2023
‘He wanted the ball in behind to him and that ball hasn’t to be in behind,’ Guardiola told the BBC.
‘Sometimes you have to be patient to find the right moment.
‘He was not frustrated, I am not frustrated. In football it happens. Don’t be dramatic.’
Speaking in his post-match press conference, Guardiola revealed Haaland was angry that Bernardo Silva did not play a through ball shortly before half-time.
However, Guardiola says the Portuguese playmaker made the right decision to retain possession.
‘He always wants the ball to him, every time, but this is not possible with man to man,’ said Guardiola.
‘Put the balls in behind and go and run. But when you have few minutes left [of the half], Bernardo was right to not give him the ball.
‘Not an incident, just understanding the connection and learning what we have to do. No problem at all, he scored two goals and he’s happy.’