FANS worried Pep Guardiola was trying to turn Erling Haaland into Wout Weghorst after seeing the BBC version of Manchester City’s formation against Bayern Munich.
Goal machine Haaland was shown next to John Stones amid four players behind sole attacker Bernardo Silva for Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final first leg.
In the event, the Norwegian poacher did of course feature at the front of City‘s attack.
But even he must have been open-mouthed in admiration at the way Rodri swerved a stunning opener on 27 minutes – his first ever goal in Europe’s top club competition.
Online observers, however, were bewildered by Haaland’s tactical role, based on the Beeb’s graphics, which suggested he might play a deeper role like Manchester United‘s under-fire Weghorst.
One fan said: “#Pep seen #Weghorst playing in the hole and thinks I can’t be outdone by Sir #TenHag – I know let’s try #Haaland and #Stones as a centre midfield pairing with license to go forwards protected by #Rodri and #Ilkay.”
Another posted: “What is BBC cooking!? Gündogan DM, Haaland and Stones as number 10s and Bernardo Silva as a number 9.”
A third wrote: “Has BBC Sport got this right? I know Stones has been playing more advanced lately, but next to Haaland with Silva as lone striker?”
And a fourth stated: “BBC Sport reckon Stones and Haaland are playing midfield just in behind Bernardo Silva tonight.”
Etihad chief Guardiola has shaken his tactics up in recent months.
HOW TO GET FREE BETS ON FOOTBALL
The main difference is England centre-back Stones generally playing as one of two holding midfielders in front of a three-man defence.
But he can drop to right-back to make a rearguard of four players when City are on the defensive.
In front of the banks of three and two come four more creative midfielders, chiefly Bernardo Silva, stylist Kevin De Bruyne and bang-in-form Jack Grealish.
That leaves Haaland in the position no-one doubts he’s best at – centre-forward.
But it was Rodri’s long-range breakthrough that ignited fans most on social media.
One said: “There’s no stopping those!” and another raved: “What a goal!”