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Wednesday 10. May 2023 - 10:13

Erling Haaland is handed a THREE out of ten by L'Equipe AND Marca in brutal verdict of his quiet night for Man City against Real

Erling Haaland was savaged by foreign press after his anonymous display for Manchester City against Real Madrid - with both Marca and L'Equipe handing him a three out of ten.

The usually prolific Norwegian - who had just 21 touches of the ball - cut a frustrated figure at the Bernabeu as he failed to score and struggled to get involved with play in City's 1-1 draw against Los Blancos in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final.

Luckily for Pep Guardiola's men, Kevin de Bruyne stepped up to grab a crucial goal for City with a second half screamer to cancel out Vinicius Jr's own thunderbolt in the first period, but Haaland's quiet night was not excused by European media.

He was given a brutal verdict by both Marca and L'Equipe after being dominated by Madrid centre-back Antonio Rudiger - with the two outlets handing him an abnormally low rating.

Marca - giving him a dismal three out of ten - claimed he was 'constantly dried up' by the German defender.

"Let the game speak for him," it said. "At first, it scares. His first action was well stopped by Rudiger. He tested Courtois head on. In the second half he did not improve, constantly dried up by an excellent Rudiger."

L'Equipe gave him the same rating and were hardly any more forgiving. They highlighted how he lost his battle with Rudiger, his frustration with his performance and how his efforts to improve were 'in vain'.

They said: "A strike from the left that is too neutral (15th), a header that is too soft (16th). And then ?" And then that’s it... Or almost. Rudiger gave him a total fight. That the Norwegian lost.

"He tried to dezone to participate more in the game. In vain. He gradually grew frustrated. His only attempt of the second period is countered (55th)."

"The people of Madrid have managed to completely cut off his technical relationship with De Bruyne. He owes a revenge in the second leg."

On the other hand, the French publication handed Rudiger a seven out of ten for his efforts in thwarting Haaland, saying he 'extinguished' the dangerous forward.

"From the first moments, he set the tone and made Haaland feel that he was going to have a bad evening," it added.

"Expected at the turn in the absence of Militao, the German completely extinguished the Norwegian with his physical power. Very safe."

Marca were much kinder to Haaland's team-mates after picking up a draw at the Bernabeu, with the lowest score after him given to Bernardo Silva, who was handed a five out of ten.

They were highly complimentary of Ruben Dias - who was awarded an eight - saying he 'left Benzema out of the game' and praised him for commanding the City defence. Rodri, meanwhile, was given a seven for being the 'engine' of the team.

But L'Equipe were a lot harsher with their own verdicts of City. Jack Grealish and Ilkay Gundogan were both given a four out of ten - with the outlet claiming the former 'didn't make a difference in one on ones'.

"Overall, he came out the loser in his hot duel with Carvajal," they said. "Except for a good cross for Haaland (16th), he didn’t make a difference in the one-on-one."

"Certainly, he participates in the action of equalization but his offensive contribution remains too neutral. On the other hand, he did a very efficient defensive job of limiting Rodrygo’s influence."

On Gundogan's performance, they added: "The German has long lacked accuracy in his choices. He had a hard time using his usual creativity to bring life to [City's] game. During the last twenty minutes, he was a reliable technical relay and it was he who shifted De Bruyne on goal (67th)."

Provided by: Frank Henriksen
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