Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola confirmed Kalvin Phillips is to undergo shoulder surgery but remains hopeful the midfielder could return to action ahead of England's World Cup campaign.

Phillips, a key member of Gareth Southgate's side that reached the Euro 2020 final on home turf last year, made a £42million move to City from Leeds United during the close season.

But fitness issues have restricted the 26-year-old to only three cameos off the bench for the reigning Premier League champions, with Phillips entirely absent for Saturday's 3-0 win over Wolves.

Now the defensive midfielder, named by England for this month's final pre-World Cup games in the Nations League against Italy and Germany, looks likely to require an operation to deal with a persistent shoulder issue.

"It's a problem with his shoulder again," Guardiola said when asked about Phillips' absence for the Wolves match. "Maybe he will need surgery in the next days. 

"It will be, not long, but a little bit longer because he needs [surgery]. Every time, it is out and it is out, and the doctors say that when you are out three or four times with the shoulder, the only solution is to have surgery."

It marks a major blow for both Phillips and Southgate, with the former's chances of making the plane to Qatar likely to be in jeopardy, and the latter left with a selection headache for his starting XI.

Despite limited minutes, Phillips would likely have resumed the double-pivot pairing with West Ham's Declan Rice in front of an England defensive line.

But his potential absence could force Southgate into a change in formation, with Jude Bellingham and Jordan Henderson among the options pushing for a starting berth.

England kick off their World Cup campaign against Iran in a little over nine weeks' time, with the upcoming games against Italy and Germany providing Southgate with a final chance to see his side in action before the tournament begins.

The Three Lions have yet to confirm Phillips' absence from their squad for those games, but Guardiola said there is "no way" he will feature in either contest.

Asked if he can provide a timeline for the former Leeds player's return should he indeed go under the knife, Guardiola responded: "I don't know, I am not a doctor.

"But in a good way he could arrive at the World Cup. I think so. But I am not a doctor. The doctor says the only solution right now is to do what we have to do."

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola trusts Jack Grealish "unconditionally" and has urged the England star to express himself more. 

Grealish scored his first goal of the season after 55 seconds in the 3-0 Premier League win over Wolves on Saturday.

Erling Haaland and Phil Foden added further goals as City stretched their unbeaten away run in the English top flight to 22 games – the longest such run in the club's league history.

Grealish thanked Guardiola for putting him in from the start after he was substituted in the 58th minute of the Champions League victory over Borussia Dortmund in midweek, but the City boss is not interested in gratitude from his players.

"I unconditionally trust all of them and I trust him unconditionally," Guardiola said. "He scored a goal and every time he had the ball, he was one against one when he took on the full-back all the time, all the time, all the time.

"But he has to play for himself and give the best of himself because that’s what I'm looking for.

"I'm happy with him, happy with the victory and Jack has an incredible personality to play and that's why I’m happy for him, but they don't have to say thank you. I just want the best for themselves every time they play – this is what we are looking for.

"He has to be who he is in the good moments and in bad moments that everyone has. He has to say, 'I am Jack Grealish, this is who I am, I go there with a good mentality and try to the best for myself and my team-mates'."

Guardiola was full of praise for former Borussia Dortmund defender Manuel Akanji, who made his Premier League debut at Molineux, hailing the 27-year-old's "perfect temperament".

"He was more than exceptional," Guardiola said. "He is so, so clever. Whether the play is short or long, when he goes, he goes, but not too much to give away a penalty or cause fouls.

"He is so aggressive to go across the opponent and has the perfect temperament to control the situation. Really, really good.

"And John [Stones] was brilliant at full-back, and I'm so happy he could do it two games in a row because we need him."

Jack Grealish thanked Pep Guardiola after scoring his first goal of the season in Manchester City's 3-0 win at Wolves, admitting critics were right to question his output.

The England international opened his account for the campaign after 55 seconds at Molineux when he applied the finishing touch to Kevin De Bruyne's perfectly timed cross.

Grealish, who netted six times during his maiden season at City after moving from Aston Villa for £100million, was substituted in the 58th minute of the Champions League victory over Borussia Dortmund in midweek.

He was grateful to be thrown in from the start once more, netting his first goal since a 2-2 draw with West Ham in May, and hopes to continue to repay Guardiola's faith.

"It was a long time coming and nice to get off the mark," Grealish told BT Sport. "Rightly so, people have been asking questions, I should be scoring more and getting more assists.

"I am always going to have people talking about me with the money that was spent on me, but all my career I haven't scored enough goals. I do want to add that to my game.

"It is nice when Pep defends me. He has been brilliant with me. I probably have to thank him because he gave me the opportunity today after my performance on Wednesday because it probably wasn't the best. I am thankful to him."

Erling Haaland doubled City's lead before Wolves had Nathan Collins sent off in the 33rd minute. A strike from Phil Foden midway through the second half made sure of the points for the visitors.

Guardiola saluted "an incredible victory" for his side as they moved top of the Premier League table, with Arsenal not playing Brentford until Sunday, and he also praised Grealish's performance.

"The game started really well for us with the two goals and the red card," the City manager said. "After the Champions League, to come here with the quality they have – they can keep the ball and transitions are fast – it was an incredible victory.

"We struggled a lot after half-time until Phil's goal, so a lot of credit to Wolves.

"Jack played really good. He was strong and he made a good goal coming in. Hopefully, he can make a good international performance and come back fit."

The international break means Guardiola will see many of his players, such as Grealish, join up with their countries in the coming week, with City back in action when they face Manchester United on October 2.

"Fingers crossed, all the players come back fit," Guardiola said. "It is important for them ahead of the World Cup, but hopefully they come back good, ready for the derby."

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has come to the defence of record signing Jack Grealish, saying he is not being judged on how many goals and assists he creates during his time on the pitch.

Grealish, 27, arrived at the club last year in a £100million move that made him the most expensive British player in history, but has only been able to contribute six goals and four assists in a City shirt.

He has started one Premier League game this season, and both Champions League fixtures so far, although he has been substituted off in both continental games, including in this past week's 2-1 win against Borussia Dortmund.

Guardiola made an effort to shift the blame away from Grealish when his performance against Dortmund was questioned, pointing the finger at his supporting cast not making his life easier.

"He started really well, but had to stop for a problem in the ankle and we were lucky it was not worse," he said.

"Last game in the final third he was the only one up front who makes aggressive runs one against one, but [he couldn't] make assists [because] he didn’t have his mates in the box, so we left him isolated. When he goes against the full-back, only Erling [Haaland] was there.

"[Ilkay] Gundo[gan] was not there, Kevin [De Bruyne] was not there and they should be there. In the first half especially with the ball we didn’t make any movements to help the players who had the ball, and give him more possibilities to make it easier."

Guardiola added: "I know him and I’m more than happy and delighted with what he’s doing. Now… it's time to get back a little bit of his momentum that he had at the beginning of the season."

The manager with multiple Champions League titles was adamant that just goals and assists was not enough to judge a player like Grealish on, and shared what he is looking for out of the midfielder.

"We didn’t sign for the incredible goals or assists at Aston Villa," he said. "It was another reason, and when he played he did it.

"He competes with top, top players as well and he knows it perfectly, but never complains about that.

"He’s such a nice guy and in the games when he didn’t play, he’s the first to help the team and in the training sessions he’s always there. I’m delighted with his behaviour and everything.

"I want to make goals and I want to make assists and he does too, but it’s not about that. It’s about his contribution without the ball and what he can produce for the other ones and the many, many things that he’s able to do."

Pep Guardiola said Manchester City did not have to "add many things" to Erling Haaland's game following his arrival from Borussia Dortmund, describing the in-form Norwegian as an "exceptional striker".

Haaland won the Premier League's Player of the Month award for August on Friday, having scored an incredible nine goals during his first calendar month in the competition.

The Norwegian has continued his goalscoring exploits in September, downing Sevilla with a Champions League double before haunting his former club Dortmund with a spectacular acrobatic finish as City beat the German side on Wednesday.

Having scored in City's last Premier League outing at Aston Villa, Haaland could become the first player in the competition's history to net on each of his first four away appearances when he lines up at Wolves on Saturday.

Asked whether 22-year-old Haaland is already the perfect forward, Guardiola said: "He's an exceptional striker, I said many times.

"But the age he is, I think his ambition is he wants to be better, and he will be better. He's a perfect person, a nice guy, this is the most important.

"With the quality he had before he came here, he has just continued to do what he has done. We didn't add many things."

Since losing both of their league meetings with Wolves in the 2019-20 season, City have won each of the teams' last four head-to-head fixtures by an aggregate score of 13-3.

Although Wolves have managed just one win from their first six games of this campaign, Guardiola is impressed by Bruno Lage's attempts to move them towards a more possession-based style of play, and expects a tough challenge.

"It's a completely different team than it was the previous seasons, they played five at the back with [Conor] Coady, now they decide to play with four," Guardiola said.

"I'm really impressed by the way they play, their position in the table is because football is unpredictable and sometimes you don't get what you deserve. They have a lot, a lot, of good things.

"They are one of the toughest opponents we've faced in the last seasons, and tomorrow will not be an exception. We had less recovery, so we have to be mentally prepared. Otherwise, it will be difficult.

"Give credit because what I've seen is completely different to previous seasons, [they would] sit back, just defend, have that transition with Adama [Traore], [Pedro] Neto.

"They still have that, but they added a completely different approach to the past. I respect Wolves a lot for what happened in the past but especially now for what they are trying to do."

City could be the first team to face Diego Costa since his return to the Premier League, with Lage revealing on Friday he hoped to have the former Chelsea striker available.

Asked about the potential presence of the fiery forward, Guardiola said: "Diego Costa has had an incredible career here and in Spain, we know his quality. We'll adapt in case he'll play."

Guardiola refused to be drawn on the debate surrounding a prospective Premier League all-star match, the idea that was suggested by Chelsea chairman Todd Boehly this week.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp declared fans would not want to see that particular addition, but Guardiola would not join him in criticising the idea.

"I don't have an opinion, not at all," Guardiola said. "If they give me the dates they will play, it should be nice. But I don't have an opinion."

Mikel Arteta has won the Premier League's Manager of the Month award after leading the Gunners to the top of the table during a perfect August.

Arsenal won their first five games of a Premier League season for just the second time last month, having previously done so in 2004-05, as well as earning plaudits for their attractive possession-based game.

Arteta's side narrowly missed out on Champions League qualification last season, but bolstered by the arrivals of Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko, have set the pace at the beginning of the new campaign.

Although the Gunners lost 3-1 at Manchester United in their first outing of September, falling narrowly short of winning their opening six top-flight games for the first time since 1947-48, they continue to lead Manchester City and Tottenham by a single point at the summit.

Arteta saw off competition from four other nominees to land the award, including former mentor Pep Guardiola and Graham Potter, who led Brighton and Hove Albion to a strong start in August before leaving for Chelsea.

Arsenal fared less well in the Player of the Month voting, however, with Jesus and captain Martin Odegaard missing out to the indomitable Erling Haaland after he scored nine goals in five August appearances.

Arteta has now won the Premier League's monthly coaching prize on three separate occasions (also September 2021 and March 2022), drawing level with the likes of Antonio Conte and Brendan Rodgers.

Pep Guardiola described Jude Bellingham as "exceptional" after the England international gave an impressive performance in Borussia Dortmund's 2-1 defeat at Manchester City.

City were staring at a shock Champions League defeat when Bellingham met Marco Reus' left-wing delivery to nod the Bundesliga outfit ahead in the second half on Wednesday.

But John Stones' long-range strike beat Alexander Meyer in bizarre fashion with 10 minutes left, and Erling Haaland had the last word against his former club when he produced a terrific acrobatic winner.

Speaking after seeing his City team maintain their perfect start to the Champions League campaign, Guardiola singled out Dortmund's teenage midfielder for praise.

"I was impressed two seasons ago when he was 17. Now he's 19... he was good at 17, imagine now at 19," Guardiola said.

"He's able to follow [Ilkay] Gundogan, Kevin [De Bruyne], win the duels, transitions are fast, to have the sense in the box for the goal he scored. 

"So yes, an exceptional player. I think everybody knows it, not because the manager of Manchester City says it, everybody knows it."

Bellingham has now scored four Champions League goals – the most ever managed by an English teenager in the competition. Meanwhile, his 18 appearances in Europe's premier club competition is a record among English players under the age of 20.

Half of the midfielder's Champions League goals have now come against City, after he opened the scoring in the second leg of the club's quarter-final defeat to Guardiola's men in 2020-21.

Dortmund coach Edin Terzic was also keen to highlight the quality of his performance, saying: "Jude, like all the other players, gave a great performance in offensive and defensive terms. 

"He blocked so any passes and crosses and also got forward… once again, he was very good against Manchester City."

Erling Haaland's sensational winner against Borussia Dortmund echoed two greats in the form of Johan Cruyff and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, says Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola.

Haaland netted with an acrobatic 84th-minute volley from Joao Cancelo's expert centre to seal three points for City against his former club in the Champions League on Wednesday.

It marked a fine turnaround after John Stones had already cancelled out Jude Bellingham's opener with a fierce long-range hit at the Etihad Stadium.

For City boss Guardiola, Haaland's athletic effort drew comparisons to Cruyff's famous strike for Barcelona against Atletico Madrid in 1973 – often referred to as the 'ghost goal' due to the scarcity of the available quality footage.

"Maybe the people who know me, you know the influence Johan Cruyff had in my life, as a person, an educator, a manager and mentor, everything," Guardiola said.

"Johan Cruyff, years and years ago at Camp Nou he scored an incredible goal against Atletico Madrid. It was quite similar. The moment he scored the goal I thought, Johan Cruyff.

"It was quite similar. It was a really good one. The pass from Joao is exceptional, he has the ability to do this kind of thing. Simple things, every ball he has, he has to make this kind of action, I know he can do it. That's football, you cannot force it. He made an incredible assist pass and the finishing from Erling was exceptional."

While Guardiola idolises Cruyff, he had a much tenser relationship with one of European football's modern greats, Ibrahimovic.

The striker spent just a season at Barcelona during Guardiola's tenure and the two did not see eye to eye.

Yet Guardiola sees the similarities in skill level between Haaland – who is now the youngest player in Champions League history to score for and against the same side in the competition – and the Milan forward, though he could not resist a sarcastic quip.

"The first impression that I had, I remember a little bit my friend, my dear friend Ibrahimovic, had this incredible ability to pull back in the air, you know, and Erling is quite similar on that," Guardiola added with a smile.

"He is elastic, flexible and to have that ability to make the contact to put it in the net. He is mature, and he has that flexibility."

The game marked Guardiola's 150th Champions League match as a manager, and he brought up his 95th win. Only two managers have won more games in the competition’s history – Alex Ferguson (102) and Carlo Ancelotti (100).

However, it was not an easy ride, with City performing well below their level until Dortmund took the lead. Indeed, their two goals came with their first two shots on target.

"We had a lot of problems to get our rhythm, we were so passive, our movements to be aggressive," explained Guardiola, who compared the match to the last time City met Dortmund, in the Champions League quarter-finals in April 2021.

"Yes, we struggled, we played in the wrong gear. We are who we are, win or lose, the way we played in the last 30 minutes, when we realised we were 1-0 down. We gave it another rhythm.

"The Champions League doesn't wait, it doesn't forgive you. They defended really well, hopefully we can learn the lesson for Saturday, against one of the toughest opponents we've had in the last few years against Wolves, and hopefully it will help us against Dortmund in the [return match]."

Erling Haaland came back to haunt his former club with a stunning acrobatic winner as Manchester City came from behind to earn a hard-fought 2-1 win over Borussia Dortmund at the Etihad Stadium.

Haaland, who averaged over a goal per game in the Champions League during a two-year spell at Dortmund, met Joao Cancelo's fine cross with a sensational backheeled volley to seal the hosts' victory in the 84th minute.

City had appeared set for a surprise defeat when Jude Bellingham nodded Dortmund ahead after the break, only for John Stones' long-range effort to beat Alexander Meyer for the leveller.

Having been kept quiet by Mats Hummels and Niklas Sule for the majority of the contest, the indomitable Haaland came good in sensational style late on to ensure City preserved their perfect start to their Champions League campaign.

Pep Guardiola does not like predicting the future.

Before a ball had been kicked this season, Manchester City's manager refused to solidify his team and Liverpool as favourites to push for the Premier League title again.

Based on Liverpool's underwhelming start to the campaign, perhaps Guardiola was right to hold off, and the City boss kept to the same tactic on Tuesday when asked if Erling Haaland – who has scored 12 goals in eight games in all competitions this season – could be the difference when it comes to the Citizens finally ending their wait for Champions League glory.

"I'm not able to know it," Guardiola said bluntly ahead of City's meeting with Haaland's former club Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday. "The team is playing well, so is he. But right now I don't know."

Where his manager had remained on the fence, Ilkay Gundogan – another former Dortmund star – was a little more forthcoming.

"We hope for it," City's captain told reporters when asked the same question. "Obviously having a proper number nine, proper striker, physically strong, determined is going to help us a lot, but we will see.

"Winning the Champions League is something incredible to achieve, a very tough competition; it's never easy and little details can decide the outcome. We'll try as hard as we can to go as far as possible."

Haaland's start to life in the Premier League has been nothing short of outrageous. He has netted 10 goals in six appearances, the joint-fastest player in the history of the competition to reach that tally, alongside Micky Quinn back in 1992. 

The 22-year-old wasted little time in transferring his domestic form to the European stage, too, scoring a double in City's 4-0 victory over Sevilla last week, and it is in the Champions League, not the Premier League, where City really need him to make the difference.

Only 36 players in Champions League history have scored more goals in the competition than Haaland, who has 25 from his 20 appearances in UEFA's flagship club tournament.

He is the first City player to score on both his Premier League and Champions League debuts for the club and the fourth player in the competition's history to score in his first appearance for three different teams (Salzburg, Dortmund and City), after Fernando Morientes, Javier Saviola and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Haaland's tally is the most by any player from their first 20 Champions League games, and should he score against Dortmund, he will be the second player to net in the competition both for and against the Bundesliga giants, after Ciro Immobile.

It was this kind of form that attracted City, who missed out on signing Harry Kane in 2021. 

With Sergio Aguero's availability becoming more limited as his time at City drew to a close, Guardiola enjoyed success without having to rely on a traditional striker. 

Although he enthused about Gabriel Jesus, who has made a blistering start at Arsenal, the Brazil international was often used out wide in the previous two campaigns, with Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Phil Foden, Raheem Sterling (now at Chelsea) and even Jack Grealish all filling in, at times, as a 'false nine' in Guardiola's fluid attack.

City won the league last season and the one before that. Indeed, four of the last five English titles have gone the way of Guardiola's side, and with or without Haaland, you'd have been brave to bet against them retaining the trophy this season.

Yet they have repeatedly fallen short in Europe. Having lost 1-0 to Chelsea – a team also utilising a false nine system – in the 2020-21 final, City last season had a plethora of chances to put their semi-final tie with Real Madrid to bed, only to lose after a remarkable comeback from Los Blancos in the second leg.

In Haaland, they have a player who should right those wrongs.

With De Bruyne, Silva, Foden and Co. providing the opportunities, Haaland was always bound to score, but his finishing has already exceeded expectations.

His 12 goals have come from shots with a cumulative expected goals (xG) value of 9.4. Essentially, he has scored close to three more goals than he would have been expected to, given the quality of chances he has been presented with.

Not that those opportunities have been particularly difficult ones, of course.

All of Haaland's 12 goals have come from 'big chances' – defined by Opta as an opportunity from which a player would be expected to score. 

No other player in Europe's top five leagues has had as many 'big chances' as Haaland, who has had 20 come his way including the Community Shield match against Liverpool in July. Neymar, who is flying high at Paris Saint-Germain, ranks second with 14. More evidence, perhaps, that he is the final piece of the puzzle in this incredibly creative City side. The player to see them over the line when push comes to shove.

City's top scorer in Europe last season was Gabriel Jesus, with four goals from six appearances. Haaland managed three in three, with injury limiting his minutes. Since he made his Champions League debut, for Salzburg in September 2019, only Robert Lewandowski (33) and Karim Benzema (26) have scored more goals in the competition. Both of those players have won the trophy in that time.

Guardiola might rightly refuse to predict the future, but one thing is for certain – with Haaland, City's chances of finally ending their wait for European glory look better than ever.

That is just what they bought him for.

Pep Guardiola is happy to lean on the knowledge of Manchester City's former Borussia Dortmund players ahead of Wednesday's Champions League meeting with the Bundesliga club.

Dortmund head to Etihad Stadium for their fifth meeting with City in the Champions League.

The clubs previously faced each other in the 2012-13 group stage and the quarter-finals in the 2020-21 campaign. City have won three of those matches, with the other one finishing as a draw.

Ilkay Gundogan, Sergio Gomez, Erling Haaland and Manuel Akanji have all spent chunks of their career at Dortmund, with the latter two having signed for City from the German side earlier this year.

Akanji made his City debut in the 4-0 thrashing of Sevilla last week, a game in which Haaland scored twice, taking his tally for the season to 12 goals from seven appearances in all competitions.

Asked in a press conference if Haaland was excited about facing his former side, Guardiola said: "We spoke in general. Not [a] special [conversation]. Of course, we spoke about some of their players, what he thinks, but in the end it's the quality of the players tomorrow that make the difference."

Guardiola is more than willing to take on board the advice of his four former Dortmund players, however.

"Yes, they are intelligent, players know about football," he said. "Some specific players have doubts... they know them better than me. They were two, three years with them, they know much more than me. I could watch a thousand videos.

"Their systems, formations, are less important than the fact of like how is the manager, how they thought they played against us two years ago – they know it, they know better than me."

It has been a remarkable start to life in England for Haaland, who is the first City player to score on both his Premier League and Champions League debuts for the club.

Haaland has scored 25 goals in 20 Champions League appearances, the most by any player in their first 20 games in the competition. He netted 15 in 13 games with Dortmund and could become just the second player to score a goal in the tournament both for and against the German side, after Ciro Immobile.

Guardiola believes it is too early, however, to judge if the striker can be the difference when it comes to City ending their Champions League duck.

"I'm not able to know it," he said. "The team and he, [so far] are playing well but right now, I don't know."

Asked what Haaland can improve, Guardiola replied: "He's young, he's hungry, he will be a better player, it's going to happen.

"At 22, 23 years old he can be better, for sure. It's a connection with his team-mates, a question of time, he will become a better player."

Brighton and Hove Albion head coach Graham Potter is among five nominees for the Premier League's Manager of the Month award as his move to Chelsea draws closer.

The 47-year-old is widely reported to have agreed terms to take charge at Stamford Bridge following the departure of Thomas Tuchel on Wednesday.

Having been nominated for August's Manager of the Month gong, Potter's arrival at Chelsea could coincide with him being rewarded for a stellar start to the season with Brighton.

The Seagulls won three of their five games in August, drawing with Newcastle United and losing to Fulham, and finished the month in fourth place behind Tottenham, Manchester City and Arsenal.

Those three sides have also seen their leaders nominated, with Mikel Arteta, Antonio Conte and Pep Guardiola shortlisted alongside Fulham's Marco Silva.

Arteta led Arsenal to five wins from five matches in August, while Conte and Guardiola did not taste defeat during the month and Silva led Fulham to two wins and two draws.

The nominations for Manager of the Month were released alongside the shortlist for August's Player of the Month, where City's Erling Haaland is the firm favourite to pick up the award after scoring nine goals in five matches.

Arsenal are the only side to have two nominees up for the award, in captain Martin Odegaard and striker Gabriel Jesus, with the eight-man shortlist dominated by players outside of the established 'top six' in the Premier League.

Brighton's Pascal Gross, Fulham's Aleksander Mitrovic, Newcastle United's Nick Pope, Leeds United's Rodrigo and Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha are the other nominees.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola praised the performance of Jack Grealish after playing an hour in his first game back from injury in Tuesday's 4-0 Champions League win at Sevilla.

Grealish had not played since City's 4-0 Premier League win over Bournemouth on August 13 due to a minor injury.

The pressure is on the 26-year-old England international, who underwhelmed in his first season at City after joining from Aston Villa in August last year for £100million.

Grealish played 38 times, scoring six goals in all competitions last season for City, but did not live up to the expectations of his hefty transfer fee, nor play with his typical freedom.

The midfielder started and played 62 minutes against Sevilla, and while he did not score or provide an assist, Guardiola was delighted with his return.

"Jack arrived incredible in the pre-season," Guardiola said at the post-game press conference.

"In the first game against West Ham unfortunately he had a little injury. It's important for him to have again this 53, 60 minutes."

"The pitch was uncomfortable for the players. He was so aggressive in the first half, more than aggressive than Phil [Foden] in terms of goal and making the movements in there.

"Sometimes missed the last pass but it's not easy there. We need him a lot this season. Jack will be so important. He played a really good game."

Guardiola was also rapt with the debut of deadline-day signing Manuel Akanji, who only joined team training earlier this week following his move from Borussia Dortmund.

"We are delighted, just training one day and a half with us," Guardiola said.

"He showed in Dortmund his experience in Europe. A really, really good central defender that City bought to us.

"He played really well, his focus, attention. He has a quality quite similar to Aymer [Laporte], he can break the lines with a pass. He read the spaces really well. I am very pleased for him."

Erling Haaland grabbed two of City's four goals, taking his season tally to 12 since his move from Dortmund.

"I think his numbers in his career, not just here, in previous teams is quite similar," Guardiola told BT Sport. "He has an incredible sense of goal."

Haaland became the first City player to score on both his Premier League debut and Champions League debut for the club.

The 22-year-old is also the fastest player to 25 goals in Champions League history, coming across 20 games, bettering Ruud van Nistelrooy and Filippo Inzaghi's mark of 30 games.

Manchester City's rivals have been warned that Erling Haaland has not even fully adapted to the team's style of play yet, with Kevin De Bruyne adamant there is much more to come.

Haaland was in lethal form again on Tuesday as he scored twice in City's comfortable 4-0 win over Sevilla at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan on matchday one of Champions League Group G.

His first saw him get on the end of a De Bruyne cross, while his second was a rebound tap-in after a Phil Foden shot was parried straight to him.

Haaland became only the fourth player to score on his Champions League debut with three different clubs, having also done so for Borussia Dortmund and Salzburg.

His exploits in Seville continued from his electric start to the Premier League season, taking him to 12 goals in just seven matches across all competitions.

And what could strike even more fear into opponents is that De Bruyne does not think he has fully adapted yet.

"I think the way he's adapted to us is really good but I think outside the goalscoring there's still another part in the game," he told BT Sport.

"I think that part is tougher to adapt to. It makes it more exciting. If he can adjust to the way we play, then the levels will go up."

He added: "I try to do my job, make the right movements and try to create as many chances as I can and I know one way or another, Erling is going to be there.

"For the moment, he is scoring the goals so it helps us win the games."

City coach Pep Guardiola was almost nonplussed about Haaland's record, pointing out it is not too dissimilar to the goalscoring frequency he had at his previous clubs.

He just hopes the Norway striker continues the way he has started.

"I think his numbers across his career, not just here but in previous teams, is quite similar," Guardiola said.

"So he has an incredible sense of goal – he scored two and had chances for two or three more to score.

"We have incredible numbers in scoring goals, so we want to continue like that. Another battle next on Saturday against Tottenham, so hopefully he can continue scoring goals."

Pep Guardiola bemoaned Manchester City's lack of precision as they were held to a 1-1 Premier League draw by Aston Villa on Saturday.

City looked to be heading to the top of the table when Erling Haaland prodded home from close range five minutes into the second half.

The former Borussia Dortmund striker has now scored 10 goals in his first six Premier League games – the joint-fastest a player has reached that total, along with Mick Quinn in December 1992.

He is also just the fifth player to score in each of their first three away appearances in the Premier League, after Peter Beardsley, Jurgen Klinsmann, Francesco Baiano and Alen Boksic.

However, Leon Bailey's first Premier League goal since September 2021 ensured the spoils were shared, as the Jamaica international powered home with 16 minutes remaining.

City squandered a host of opportunities to extend their advantage after Haaland's opener, leaving Guardiola to rue his side's sloppiness.

"It was a good game. We conceded just one goal from one shot on target in 90 minutes," he told Sky Sports.

"We were not precise in our final third touches and our simple things, especially in the first half. We had chances to score a second when the game was in our hands, but we didn't.

"We were better after the goal, but we were just not precise enough in the crosses; we missed a few situations and that's why we could not score.

"They [Villa] defended well, they are well organised and physical. We created enough chances to score goals and we defended well apart from one action."

Villa now have four points from their first six Premier League games of the season (W1 D1 L4), their joint-lowest total at this stage in the competition, along with 2015-16 and 2019-20.

Boss Steven Gerrard, though, believes his side's display can act as a turning point in their season.

"We've been close to that performance but the moments have gone against us, they have been kinder to us today but that's got to be the start of us," he said. "We have to use this and grow our results.

"I'm proud; the players have come together today. They put an incredible amount of effort into the game and followed instructions.

"City are always going to have moments and we had to ride our luck. This is what we wanted out of the game and this is the game plan we gave them.

"We praised the players after the first half for out of possession stuff, but said we need to be more aggressive on the regain and believe in ourselves more. Our players didn't sink after City scored and I was really happy with the response and the body language."

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