Supporters feel Manchester City missed out on Erling Haaland after the striker was an unused substitute in Tuesday’s 0-0 draw with Copenhagen in the Champions League.
Haaland has scored 20 goals in just 12 games this season since joining from Borussia Dortmund in the summer, but he has been rested by Pep Guardiola in Denmark as City were already close to qualifying from their group.
City were disallowed for a Rodri goal after a handball from Riyad Mahrez under construction, while the Algerian winger missed a penalty later in the first half. With City unable to find a breakthrough, some fans took to Twitter to point out that City appeared to be struggling without Haaland.
“No Haaland, no party,” wrote a fan on social media.
“No Haaland = No goals,” claimed another supporter.
Meanwhile, there was even harsher criticism from a fan who said: “Manchester City is useless without HAALAND.”
Prior to the game in Copenhagen, City had scored 11 goals in their last three group games but this time they failed to hit the net as they had to settle for a point.
A supporter joked that City looked like the Williams car without Haaland on his team, in a nod to the team that currently sits bottom in the Formula One constructors’ championship.
“MAN CITY without HAALAND is like a WILLIAMS F1 car,” they wrote.
City were reduced to 10 men in the first half when Sergio Gomez received his marching orders for being the last man to commit a foul.
Guardiola then resisted the temptation to bring Haaland on after the break, despite knowing that a win for his side would guarantee a place in the last 16.
BT Sport pundit Owen Hargreaves felt City had nothing to worry about after failing to score and believes the team will be happy to have earned a point after playing with 10 men for an hour has played.
“I think they played their normal game. The red card completely changed the game. They were disallowed for a goal that should have been allowed. They saved a penalty.
“In the end they could have won [by] 2 or 3, but when the red card happened they just kept a clean sheet, closed shop, no injuries and just got ready for the next one. They’ll win their group, there’s no question about that,” he said.
Haaland will almost certainly be back in City’s starting XI when they return to the Premier League against rivals Liverpool on Sunday.