Pep Guardiola was at a loss for words to describe Erling Haaland’s latest heroic goals when Manchester City returned to winning ways.
The prolific Norwegian scored two goals, including one from a penalty, as City recovered from last week’s defeat to Liverpool with a 3-1 win over Brighton at the Etihad Stadium.
The striker’s brace has taken his tally since joining the club to 22 out of just 15 appearances.
With 17 of those Premier League goals, he is already, after 11 games, only six behind last season’s Golden Boot total.
“My English language is not big enough,” said the City manager Guardiola when asked to comment on Haaland’s performance.
“Erling has the quality. With large space he can do it but with little space he can do it. This is reality, it’s fantastic ”.
Despite Haaland’s brace in the first half, he still needed a stunning goal from Kevin De Bruyne to secure victory 15 minutes from time after Brighton recovered with a Leandro Trossard response.
De Bruyne played an influential role throughout the game, but Guardiola feels the Belgian playmaker hasn’t been at his best lately.
“It can be better,” said the Spaniard of De Bruyne’s form. “He is not playing at his highest level, not yet. He scored a fantastic goal but he’s not playing at his best.
“He knows (this). I don’t need to tell him. His dynamism is not perfect yet but the goal is amazing and thanks to him we have not suffered in the last 15 minutes ”.
Guardiola is pleased with how his team closed the win after a good performance by the Seagulls in the second half.
After Riyad Mahrez rejected a golden opportunity for 3-0, Trossard responded with a fine goal.
Guardiola said: “The turning point was when Riyadh got the chance. Normally they don’t miss them but it’s football and it can happen.
“A minute later we conceded a goal. After that it was hard, they were better, but Kevin came up with masterclass action and we won the game.
“The match was one of the most difficult we could face. They offer the kind of game we’re not used to. Few teams are used to it. “
Brighton were saddened by being awarded the penalty for City’s second goal. Bernardo Silva was declared tripped by Lewis Dunk after a review of the VAR, but the defender felt the Portuguese had initiated contact.
Brighton coach Roberto De Zerbi, who was winless after five games in office, said: “I am sad, not just for today but for these five games.
“I only want to talk about the performances of my players, not the VAR or the penalties. I think we played very well in the second half. We had a chance to score 2-2.
“We can play very well, but the results of these last five games are not fair.”