Manchester City have beaten “the best team in the world”, admitted manager Pep Guardiola after clinching a 3-1 win over Barcelona in their Champions League clash at Etihad Stadium.
“Considering our situation with the short time we’ve had together, against the best team in the world and our position in the group, our victory is so important,” Guardiola was quoted as saying by goal.com.
Having being beaten 0-4 by the Spanish Giants at Camp Nou last month, City put in a much better performance this time to clinch three points that draws them within two of Group C leaders Barcelona.
Barcelona star striker Lionel Messi put his side in lead in the 21st minute of the match before Ilkay Gundogan’s brace and Kevin De Bruyne’s second-half free-kick handed City a much-needed win.
While Guardiola admitted his side had endured a difficult start, he praised his players for pulling the game back on track.
“Our performance 11 against 11 in Barcelona was much better than the first 38 minutes here. In the first 38 minutes we saw the best team in the world. We were in really big trouble. When Barcelona had the chance to score the second goal the game would have been finished,” Guardiola said.
“But football is like this, like when Fernandinho slipped and Messi scored in Barcelona. In the second half we were compact, we made good high pressing and won a lot of balls with our high pressing. Also we defended with low blocks and used our counter-attack against them,” he added.
City will reach the knockout phase of the Champions League if they defeat Borussia Monchengladbach on November 23.