Guardiola purrs over 'incredible' City display

KHARKIV (Ukraine) • Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has hailed his team's performance in the first 45 minutes of Tuesday's 3-0 win over Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League as the best football they have played during his reign at the club.

City, who false-started in the campaign with a defeat at home by Lyon, strolled to a convincing victory at the Metalist Stadium with first-half goals from David Silva and Aymeric Laporte.

Substitute Bernardo Silva added a third in the second half as City became the first English team to win at Shakhtar in European competition.

Asked how well his side played, Guardiola, who joined City at the start of the 2016-17 campaign, said: "Incredible. Our first half was the best we have played in the last three seasons, since I've been here. We were outstanding, we created a lot of chances.

"We were under pressure after the defeat by Lyon, but now we are in a good position. We can control our destiny now."

The victory meant the English champions moved to the top of Group F with six points, a point ahead of Lyon, who were held to a thrilling 3-3 draw at Hoffenheim.

Guardiola's men have now won back-to-back matches in Europe and could secure a last-16 spot if they beat Shakhtar in a fortnight's time in their bid for a maiden Champions League trophy.

If there was a downside, it was that City did not take more of their chances and Guardiola said: "We have to increase our average. We missed a lot of clear chances. When you arrive in the later stages, we have to be more clinical."

Shakhtar manager Paulo Fonseca conceded his side had been outplayed: "We have to admit that City were better tonight - much better. They won in good style.

"Our players tried to play well and keep the ball, but it was not enough to stop a team like City."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 25, 2018, with the headline 'Guardiola purrs over 'incredible' City display'. Print Edition | Subscribe