Guardiola praises City’s ‘outstanding’ performance in win over Shakhtar Donetsk

Pep Guardiola hailed his Manchester City side as they took charge of their Champions League group with a superb 3-0 win away to Shakhtar Donetsk.

The City boss felt his team played the best 45 minutes of his reign as they powered into a 2-0 half-time lead at Kharkiv’s Metalist Stadium with goals from David Silva and Aymeric Laporte.

Bernardo Silva came off the bench to add a brilliant solo third 19 minutes from time and, in all, City registered 24 shots in a one-sided encounter.

Three of those efforts hit the woodwork – two from David Silva and one from Raheem Sterling – and the result took City above Lyon to the top of Group F.

Asked what he thought of the performance, Guardiola said: “Incredible. Our first half was the best we have played in the last few seasons, since I’ve been here. We were outstanding, we created a lot of chances.

“We were under a lot of pressure after defeat against Lyon but now we are in a good position, we can control our destiny. I am pleased with the way we played, it was excellent.”

Guardiola said in the build-up to the game that he believed City were not yet ready to win the Champions League. He cited a number of factors for that, including suggesting that fans had not fully bought into the competition.

City, however, remain favourites for the trophy and it was put to Guardiola after the game that he may struggle to convince people of his opinions.

The Spaniard said in his post-match press conference: “We played so good in the first half but I said yesterday it’s not just about playing good or bad, there are many other things. It’s important to go step by step.

“We’ve won two away and that’s important. Now we try to go through. But it’s not just performances, there are many circumstances in the Champions League.”

If there was a downside for Guardiola it was that they did not take more of their chances. Only six of their attempts were on target.

He 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 coach Paulo Fonseca said: “We have to admit that City were better – 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.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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