Haaland stunned his old club with six minutes remaining of a tight Champions League clash at the Etihad Stadium as he leapt and stretched to turn in a swerving Joao Cancelo cross.
His effort completed a late City comeback and snatched a 2-1 victory after they had trailed 1-0 until John Stones struck a brilliant 80th-minute equaliser.
It was also Haaland's 13th goal in just nine appearances since his summer move to City from Dortmund.
City manager Guardiola, who played under Dutch great Cruyff at Barcelona, said: "Maybe the people who know me know the influence of Johan Cruyff in my life as a person, a mentor, a manager.
"Years ago, he scored in Camp Nou an incredible goal versus Atletico Madrid. It was quite similar today with Haaland and the moment he scored it I thought, 'Johan Cruyff'. It was quite similar.
"It was a really good one and the assist from Joao was exceptional."
If that comparison was not favourable enough, Guardiola also felt Haaland reminded him of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
He said: "I remember my dear friend Ibrahimovic had this ability to put the leg on the roof and Erling is quite similar on that.
"I think it is his nature. He is elastic, he is flexible and has the ability to make the contact and put the ball in the net."