Pep Guardiola explains decision to rest Erling Haaland against Copenhagen

Pep Guardiola has confessed that striker Erling Haaland was struggling with his fitness in the build-up to Tuesday's 0-0 draw with Copenhagen.

Manchester City were surprisingly held by their Danish hosts, who they had beaten 5-0 just a week earlier, with the prolific Haaland not even coming off the bench despite the fact Guardiola's side were chasing a goal.

With a meeting with Liverpool on the horizon, it was assumed that Haaland was simply being protected, but Guardiola has now confessed the Norwegian was in desperate need of a rest after battling fitness issues.

"He finished the game against Southampton so, so tired and didn't recover well," the boss revealed.

"[Monday] was not good, [Tuesday was] a little better but not perfect so we decide not to take the risk."

To make matters worse for City, Guardiola admitted that Haaland is not the only player to have been struggling with their fitness.

"I thought about energy levels," he explained. "Many players didn't start because they are really exhausted with fatigue and some niggles.

"Phil [Foden] has also some problems and Bernardo [Silva] was so tired yesterday, he told us. The players I played felt better."

City, who played most of the game with ten men after Sergio Gomez's first-half red card, still sit three points clear at the top of their Champions League group and eight points ahead of third-placed Sevilla, meaning they have already reached the knockout stages despite this hiccup.

Source : 90min