Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola joked that he substituted Erling Haaland in Saturday’s 6-0 FA Cup win over Burnley because he did not want him to break another Lionel Messi record.
The Norway striker continued his impressive run in England by scoring his sixth hat-trick for Manchester City on Saturday night.
This hat-trick came just days after he scored five of Man City’s seven goals against Leipzig in the second leg of the Champions League round of sixteen.
That amount means Haaland joins Messi as the only two players to have scored five goals in the Champions League knockout stages.
While the 22-year-old was looking for a triple, Guardiola He replaced it with just under half an hour to play, sparking conspiracy theories on social media that this was to preserve Messi’s place in the record books.
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Guardiola took over Halland At a similar point during Man City’s demolition of Burnley, and speaking to the media after the match, he seemed to catch on to what was said about his relationship with Messi earlier this week.
Eight goals in four days. I played 11 years in Barcelona and scored 11 goals! Guardiola started.
“He did it. It’s unbelievable. I substituted three goals for him not to break the record.” Messi in the FA Cup.
For the avoidance of doubt, no, Messi has not played in the Federation Cup.