Unhappy Pep Guardiola reacts to Erling Haaland missed chances against Chelsea at Etihad

Pep Guardiola has insisted Erling Haaland was not to blame for Manchester City dropping points against Chelsea despite having nine shots without scoring.

City and Chelsea drew 1-1 at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday to slip behind Liverpool and Arsenal, who both won earlier in the day in the Premier League title race.

Haaland had nine of City’s 31 shots and missed a golden chance in the second half when his header from Kevin De Bruyne’s cross flew over the bar. It was the highest number of shots that Haaland has had without scoring in any game with Manchester City.

“It’s good to have nine shots, and next time he’s going to score,” said Guardiola. “I was a football player for 11 years and scored 11 goals. I’m not a proper man to give advice to strikers.

“We create the chances, he had the chances and next time he’s going to score. I don’t blame him. It’s football, it’s human beings.”

Guardiola was unhappy with City’s first-half performance against Chelsea, who took the lead just before half-time through Raheem Sterling.

Éderson made a crucial save from Sterling in the second half before Rodri scored a late equaliser to maintain City’s unbeaten home record, which stretches back to November 2022.

“As a team and a group, the first half was not like we are,” said Guardiola.

“The demands are so high because no-one is going to give it to us, we have to do everything.

“We are Man City so we have to do it for ourselves all the time. From Day 1 I said that. We have to improve the first half and the second half was unbelievable. In general, it was really good after we conceded from Raheem.”

Chelsea, meanwhile, might have gone away with more than just a point had they taken more of their chances while they were on top, but afterwards manager Mauricio Pochettino was happy with one of the better performances of his time in charge.

“So pleased,” he said.

“The effort was massive and the spirit is the way we want to compete with the talent we have. I think we will reach, one day, the levels we expect. To play the best team in the world is never easy and today the character and personality made me very happy.”