Pep Guardiola’s inner football encyclopedia jumped into action at Erling Haaland’s karate kick goal.

    “It was incredible. You probably know what a great influence Johan Cruyff had on me,” said the Manchester City team manager after the 2-1 (0-0) win over Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League. “That goal reminded me of a very similar one that Johan scored many years ago. Against Atl├ętico Madrid.”

    And indeed: On December 22, 1973, the Dutch football genius also scored sensationally. On the 15th day of the league, Cruyff rose after a cross from the right – and scored in flight for FC Barcelona with a high heel from an acute angle to make it 1-0. The game ended 2:1. It is said to be the finest goal of Cruyff’s career.

    “Erling Haaland is just Erling Haaland”

    Haaland, who has scored 13 goals in his first nine competitive games for Man City, took a less historical view of it all. “I have long legs and I can jump well,” he said in explanation. “That’s what I train for. Scoring goals is my job.”

    Opponents could only shake their heads. “Erling Haaland is Erling Haaland,” said Mats Hummels. Sports director Sebastian Kehl did not blame anyone: The scene was actually not a chance given the less than ideal flank.

    But then Haaland rose – like Johan Cruyff in 1973.