What Juanma Lillo said to Erling Haaland at half-time of Man City win vs Fulham to inspire hat-trick

Haaland hit the post against Sheffield United last Sunday but made no mistake from 12 yards this time, with his penalty part of a hat-trick in the 5-1 win against Fulham.

The Norwegian has now missed two penalties for City but he remained on duty for them and Lillo said he would have taken another at Bramall Lane as well if required, insisting his miss there was a little unfortunate.

“Erling is a strong character, there was no doubt in our mind he was going to take it, hes scored many goals from penalties,” City&aposs stand-in boss said.

“Had we good another penalty in the previous game wed have given it to him. The penalty he took last week wasnt a bad penalty, he hit it low, it hit the post, they can easily hit the post and go in.”

Haaland netted a hat-trick on Saturday despite being below his best and it took him to 38 goals in 28 games at the Etihad and six in four Premier League games this season.

Lillo could understand why the striker struggled in the first half against Fulham and had a message for him at half-time that helped propel him to his second-half heroics.

“Today in the first half none of the team played well, we didnt find the freshness and our opponents kept the ball well, it would have been difficult for any No. 9. I said in the break, this is not an easy game, but you can still help us by scoring and he scored three,” he said.

Haaland is already on his way to matching last season&aposs stunning 53-goal season and Lillo hasn&apost ruled out a repeat from the goalscoring sensation.