Erling Haaland was ravaged by the foreign press after his anonymous performance for Manchester City against Real Madrid – with both Marca and L’Equipe giving him a three out of 10.
The usually prolific Norwegian, who had just 21 touches, cut a frustrated figure at the Bernabeu as he failed to score and struggled to get involved in the game in City’s 1-1 draw against Real in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final. -last.
Fortunately for Pep Guardiola’s men, Kevin de Bruyne stepped up to grab a vital goal for City with a screamer in the second half to negate Vinicius Jr.’s own lightning bolt in the first period, but the quiet night of Haaland did not go unnoticed by the European media.
He received a brutal verdict from both Marca and L’Equipe after being dominated by Madrid centre-back Antonio Rüdiger, with the two outlets giving him an abnormally low rating.
Markawho gave him a dismal three out of 10 claimed he was ‘constantly dried up’ by the German defender.
Erling Haaland was ravaged by foreign press after his quiet night ahead of Man City vs Real Madrid
Marca and L’Equipe both gave him a 3/10 – the latter claiming he was ‘extinguished’ by Antonio Rudiger
“Let the (game) speak for him,” said the Spanish newspaper. ‘It’s scary at first. His first action was well stopped by Rüdiger. He tested Courtois head-on. In the second half he didn’t improve, constantly dried up by an excellent Rüdiger.’
L’Equipe gave him the same rating and were hardly more forgiving. They highlighted how he lost his battle with Rüdiger, his frustration with his performance and how his attempts to improve were “in vain.”
They said: ‘An attack from the left that is too neutral (15th), a header that is too soft (16th). And then ? And that was it… Or almost. Rüdiger gave him an all-out fight, which the Norwegian lost.
“He was trying to get out of his position to get more into the game. In vain. Gradually he grew frustrated.
The Madrid players have managed to completely break his technical relationship with De Bruyne. He owes revenge in the second leg.’
The striker had just 21 touches as he was dominated by the ex-Chelsea defender (L)
The French publication gave Rüdiger a seven out of 10 for his efforts to thwart Haaland, saying he had “snuffed out” the dangerous attacker.
“From the first moments he set the tone and gave Haaland the feeling that he was going to have a bad night,” said the club.
Expecting his turn in Militao’s absence, the German completely stunned the Norwegian with his physical strength. Very safe.’
A bad night for Haaland also saw his father escorted out of a Real Madrid VIP box for allegedly throwing peanuts and insults at home fans.
It comes just two months after Haaland was awarded a rare 10/10 by L’Equipe after scoring five goals in City’s 7-0 win over RB Leipzig.
Haaland’s high standards make such criticism almost foreign to him. He has already scored the most goals in a Premier League season, overtaking Andy Cole and Alan Shearer to score 35 times in just 32 games.
He has scored 51 goals in 47 games in all competitions, cementing his reputation as one of the world’s deadliest finishers.
Jack Grealish (R) also couldn’t escape a harsh verdict, with L’Equipe giving him a four out of 10 after a tussle with Dani Carvajal (L)
Marca was much kinder to Haaland’s teammates after a draw at the Bernabeu, with the lowest score after him given to Bernardo Silva, who was given a five out of ten.
They praised Ruben Dias – who received an eight – for saying he had ‘outside Benzema’ and praised him for leading the City defence. Rodri, meanwhile, got a seven for being the team’s ‘engine’.
But L’Equipe were a lot stricter with their own verdict on City. Jack Grealish and Ilkay Gundogan both got a four out of ten – with the outlet claiming the former “made no difference in one-on-one.”
“Overall, he came out of his hot duel with Carvajal as a loser,” they said. “Except for a good cross for Haaland (16th), he made no difference in the one-on-one.
“Certainly, he participates in the equalizing action, but his offensive input remains too neutral. On the other hand, he did a very efficient job defensively, limiting Rodrygo’s influence.’
Of Gundogan’s performance, they added: ‘For a long time the German lacked accuracy in his choices. He struggled to use his usual creativity to bring the game (City) to life. The last twenty minutes he was a reliable technical relay and it was he who pushed De Bruyne on target (67th).
Their best score was a seven for goalscorer De Bruyne.
“For a long time, the Belgian was the only one who tried to put life and speed into Man City’s game,” they said. “Because of his movements he was a poison to the people of Madrid.
His relationship with Haaland – with the exception of a cross from Courtois (15th) – was well cut. He took advantage of the spaces in the second half to let his creativity speak in the last 30 metres. On target, his shot is lush (67th).’