Erling Haaland HIC 16-9Getty Images

Man City's Erling Haaland dilemma: Pep Guardiola must consider dropping striker for second leg vs Real Madrid after 'clumsy and desperate' display

One key cultural difference between the Spanish and the English is that our Iberian friends never beat around the bush. And when it comes to criticism, there is no holding back. After Manchester City's scintillating 3-3 draw at Real Madrid, which was hailed as "the best game in the world" and "a cannonball of a match" by the Spanish media, Erling Haaland was right in the firing line.

Newspaper Marca gave the usually prolific Norwegian hitman a one star rating out of three, describing him as "impotent", particularly in his one-sided battle with the outstanding Antonio Rudiger. "Rudiger eats Haaland" ran one headline after the striker, who is widely expected to sign for Los Blancos one day, failed to score against Madrid for the third consecutive game.

"Erling Haaland has played two games at the Santiago Bernabeu and left both with the same sensation, of not even being the shadow of the striker who causes panic wherever he goes," added the article.

AS was even more scathing in its criticism of Haaland. "Clumsy and desperate" was how his performance was summarised by one writer, while another opined: "Only the substitutes participated less than Haaland. The cyborg was deactivated against Rudiger."

The newspaper was most brutal when it came to rating the players. So bad was Haaland that he didn't even merit a rating. Manuel Akanji, Ruben Dias and Mateo Kovacic got one star ratings, but next to Haaland's name was a simple dash. Not applicable.

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