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SPORTS UPDATE

Guardiola delivers early Haaland verdict after Man City debut

Erling Haaland still needs more time to fully bed in at Manchester City despite scoring on his debut, says Pep Guardiola.

The club’s big summer signing netted only 12 minutes into his first appearance in a City shirt to fire the Premier League champions to a 1-0 win over Bayern Munich in Green Bay.

Guardiola praised the 22-year-old’s poacher instinct after connecting to a Jack Grealish cross flashed across the face of goal but said the Norwegian needed to be handled carefully to aid his return to full fitness.

“He scored a goal, which is important. These type of goals in front of keeper – always he’s there,” Guardiola said. “The first minutes, he needs more rhythm and time but already he had 45 minutes which is good for him.

“We’ll see how he reacts to the niggles that he had in the previous weeks. After we come back we have long weeks to prepare every weekend game. In those two or three weeks we will get the best form.”

City, who face FA Cup holders Liverpool in the Community Shield on Saturday, begin their Premier League title defence with a trip to West Ham United on Aug. 7.

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