Pep Guardiola compared Julian Alvarez to former Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus, after the Argentine scored in the Champions League vs Sevilla.
Alvarez has started the last three games for City, with Haaland missing the last two through injury. He was given a thankless task against Dortmund and Leicester in previous outings, with little supply to the front line, and against Sevilla it looked like a similar story in a tightly-contested first half.
However, a tactical shuffle in the second half gave Alvarez more space, and he was able to assist youngster Rico Lewis for City’s equaliser, and he latched onto a wonderful Kevin De Bruyne pass to put the Blues ahead. He then dispossessed a defender and set up Riyad Mahrez to make sure of the three points.
And Guardiola said after the game that he was just as pleased as Alvarez’s contributions off the ball as he was with the goal, likening his current striker to his number nine from last season – Jesus.
“I would say not one person who is not happy for him,” Guardiola said.
“He’s a special guy, with his work ethic. He reminds me a bit of Gabriel, how aggressive without the ball. He’s played Leicester and today and not easy to find space, he got the reward he deserved.”
Speaking to BT Sport, Guardiola said: “In the first half the guys tried. Second half was better, really good goals. I’m happy for everyone. In the second half we put more people close to the box. In the first half they were a little bit wider.”