When Haaland scored a late penalty to clinch City’s 1-0 win against Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday, he responded with a joyous slide across the rain-soaked Selhurst Park pitch.
Amid reports that Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid are plotting audacious bids for Haaland in the close season, the 22-year-old’s ecstatic reaction to his winner was a welcome sight for Guardiola.
Haaland has scored 28 times in the Premier League and netted 34 goals in all competitions since arriving from Borussia Dortmund in May.
He remains on course to break the Premier League goal record for a single campaign, jointly held by Alan Shearer and Andy Cole, who netted 34 for Blackburn and Newcastle respectively.
Yet, although the raw numbers suggest all is well with the astonishingly prolific striker and his team, the eye-test has sometimes painted a different picture.
There have been pointed questions raised about Guardiola’s ability to get City to adapt to Haaland’s unique talents, and the striker’s own issues with coming to terms with the champions’ style of play.
At times, Haaland has ploughed a lone furrow in City’s attack, left isolated and surrounded by defenders during his team’s long spells of possession.
As a result, City have occasionally seemed more toothless than Haaland’s phenomenal record would suggest, with his misses microscopically analysed for evidence he is a square peg in a round hole.
Haaland did miss a sitter before scoring at Palace, while his profligacy in a 1-1 draw at Nottingham Forest in February saw City surrender first place in the Premier League.
With City trailing Arsenal by five points in the title race, the Champions League may offer their best chance of a memorable end to the season.
Qualifier Garin stuns Ruud at Indian Wells; Norrie, Zverev survive
Third-seed Casper Ruud is the latest big name to crash out at the Indian Wells Open.
Qualifier Cristian Garin shocked third-seeded Casper Ruud 6-4, 7-6 (7/2) to reach the fourth round of the competition on Sunday as Daniil Medvedev and Cameron Norrie survived scares.