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Guardiola explains his decision to sit Haaland after his awful performance against Arsenal.

Erling Haaland was benched for Manchester City's match against Aston Villa, which surprised many. Pep Guardiola later clarified that the decision to rest the star striker amid a demanding schedule was made strategically. Following Haaland's underwhelming performance against Arsenal in the previous match, the decision was made.

Guardiola maintained his decision to leave Kevin De Bruyne and Haaland off the field, stressing the importance of controlling the players' playing time for the next games.

He highlighted the challenging schedule ahead of them, but reassured that City's great squad depth allows for such options.

Yes, we have another game at 12:30 (away to Crystal Palace) in two and a half days. All the best clubs, in my opinion, have a sizable and talented roster, and we certainly do. We made our lineup decision today for this challenging opener, and we're going to attack it."

Guardiola insisted that the choice was essentially about rotating the team and getting ready for important games, even in the face of criticism of Haaland's recent performance. Real Madrid and Crystal Palace games are coming up, so City's attention is still on playing at its best.

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