Inter’s Erling Haaland plan: How can they stop the Manchester City striker in the Champions League final?

Almost every player in the Manchester City squad can pose an attacking threat to Inter in the Champions League final, but Erling Haaland is the most frightening. How can the Nerazzurri stop the Norwegian?


The primary aim for almost every team that has faced Manchester City this season is to try and stop Erling Haaland, and then limit the damage caused by everyone else. The story ends typically with the Norweigan on the scoresheet, with there seemingly being no way to stop his inevitability.

Some people had doubts at the start of the season about if he would be able to compete with the top goalscorers in the Premier League, but the season has ended with him outscoring Everton and Wolves. To put it lightly, Haaland is a machine. He is seemingly unstoppable.

Inter have to try in the Champions League final, though, and Simone Inzaghi and his staff might have found a way to do just that.

Manchester City’s Erling Haaland celebrates. [@ManCity]

How many goals has Erling Haaland scored this season?

To say that Erling Haaland has taken the Premier League by storm this season would be an understatement. It became clear almost from the first few games that he would win the Golden Boot. He ended the season on 36 league goals, along with eight assists.

Having broken the Premier League goal record in his debut season, the terror that defences feel when seeing him on the pitch is understandable, yet England hasn’t been his only playground.

His record in the Champions League at 22 years old is ridiculous, scoring 35 times in 29 games, with his record this season being 12 goals in 10 games. Though he didn’t score against Real Madrid, largely due to Antonio Rudiger’s work in the first leg, Manchester City still won 5-1 on aggregate.

So, whilst the Norweigan is racking up huge numbers, Manchester City don’t only score through him, something that Simone Inzaghi must plan for. In all competitions, Haaland has got 52 goals from 52 games ahead of the Champions League final.

Manchester City’s John Stones and Erling Haaland with the FA Cup. [@ManCity]

How to stop Erling Haaland?

Haaland is Manchester City’s focal point, but he doesn’t do it all by himself. Many actually questioned how Haaland would adapt to the Citizens’ needs, but rather it’s been a mix of both.

Whilst he’s competent being the guy to finish the chances, he can also bring other players into attacks. Inter though, are fully aware of this and seem concrete in how they will cause Haaland and Manchester City problems.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Inzaghi doesn’t plan to change his system but rather utilise different options within it. The core of the defence seems as though it will be Alessandro Bastoni, Francesco Acerbi, and Matteo Darmian. Inzaghi has said that his team will need ‘personality, heart and desire’ to win the game.

With this it means that Inter can have confidence in their plan, with one player marking Haaland tightly and denying him space, with another covering the space behind to ensure that if the Norweigan escapes his man he faces another test, always having another defender available.

This will mean that Denzel Dumfries and Federico Dimarco may have to be more defensive-minded instead of marauding down the wings, balancing attack and defence, to cope with Jack Grealish and Bernardo Silva.

Inter’s midfield will also be given the task of keeping Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan quiet, this will likely be done by blocking as many of Manchester City‘s passing lanes as possible.


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