Ilkay Gundogan who netted both goals in Manchester City win over Leeds United walked into a blast from infuriated Pep Guardiola for not converting a late penalty that almost paved the way for a Leeds comeback on Saturday.
Gundongan took City ahead and doubled their advantage with two similar first half goals at the Etihad Stadium.
However, in the dying embers of the second half of proceedings, Phil Foden was fouled by Pascal Struijk and shockingly designated penalty taker Erling Haaland gave the ball to the German to score his hat-trick.
Leeds United goalie Joel Robles tipped Gundongan’s spot-kick off the goalpost leaving Pep Guardiola to tell Erling Haaland: “You’ve got to take it”.
Moments later, Leeds halved the deficit through substitute Rodrigo to set up a frenetic end to the game, as the win saw City usurp Arsenal to the summit of the Premier League table.
The 2-1 victory for Manchester City over Leeds United left the Citizens four points ahead of Arsenal with just four Premier League games remaining.
The Gunners however reduced the gap after defeating Newcastle United on Sunday, they cut the deficit to one point although Manchester City have one game outstanding over Arsenal.
City sit at the summit of the English Premier League table with 82 points, one point ahead of the North London Side who have amassed 81 points.
Pep Guardiola speaking concerning what occurred in the game involving Gundogan and Haaland said: “The game was not over. It shows how nice and generous Erling is. If it is 4-0 with 10 minutes left, OK.
“But at 2-0? Erling is the best penalty taker right now, so he has to take it. If Gundo scores, everyone is ‘OK, hat-trick, well done.
”But a taker is a taker. Erling is the specialist. At 2-0, this is a business, not a situation where we cannot forget it. Before the last minutes we played an exceptional game but maybe we were not as clinical as we should be.”
Even though Manchester City are top favorites for the English Premier League title, they have a seemingly tasking next set of games.
Their next Premier League encounter is at Goodison Park, with Everton striving to remain in the English top-flight.
They also play away to Brighton and Hove Albion and Brentford in addition to a home clash with Chelsea.
Manchester City are still in the Champions League and they face a tough test in a two-legged semi-final battle against holders Real Madrid.
The first leg of the game takes place in Madrid on the 9th of May and If Pep Guardiola’s side get past Madrid, they will have either Inter Milan or AC Milan to contend with in the final on the 10th of June 2023.
The defending champions of the Premier League also have an FA Cup final in view, as Manchester City play city rivals Manchester United at Wembley on the 3rd of June 2023.
Pep Guardiola’s side would be needing all the brilliance they can get from players like Erling Haaland and Ilkay Gundongan amongst others as they chase the treble.
Manchester City captain, Ilkay Gundongan, has scored 7 goals and provided 5 assists in 45 appearances for the Citizens across all competitions this season.
Haaland who recently broke and set the record for the most goals scored in a Premier League season has however netted 51 goals and made 8 assists in 46 games across all competitions.