Pep Guardiola praises his Manchester City stars for making a statement with comeback victory over French giants PSG to reach the last-16 in the Champions League as he hails their ‘top performance’ at the Etihad
- Manchester City through to the knockout stages for a ninth successive year
- Pep Guardiola’s side fought back from going behind to a Kylian Mbappe strike
- Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus scored in the second-half to secure a 2-1 win
Pep Guardiola felt his Manchester City team made a real statement as they came from behind to beat Paris St Germain and reach the Champions League last 16.
Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus struck as City responded to a Kylian Mbappe goal to claim a 2-1 win in a pulsating clash at the Etihad Stadium that sealed top spot in Group A.
City will now go through to the knockout stages for a ninth successive year and, after reaching last year’s final, they appear to mean business again.
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola celebrates victory over Paris St Germain on Wednesday
Asked if the victory over such a star-studded side sent out a statement, Guardiola said: ‘Of course.
‘PSG – what a team, what players, what can I say?
‘We tried to keep these players far away from our goal. When they are close to your goal they can do anything.
City though grabbed a deserved equaliser just after the hour mark through Raheem Sterling
‘Except for five minutes after we conceded, when they (went for the) knock out on the counter-attack but couldn’t finish, we made a really top performance.
‘We are happy to be in the next stage. Congratulations to everyone in the club. It’s many years of being there.
‘Now we will focus on the Premier League and try to arrive in February in the best condition possible to go to the quarter-finals.’
Gabriel Jesus (right) celebrates scoring the winning goal against Paris Saint-Germain
City were without three creative players in Kevin De Bruyne, Jack Grealish and Phil Foden, the latter pulling out on the eve of the game with a minor injury problem.
That forced a change of plan with Oleksandr Zinchenko, who has chiefly played as a left-back under Guardiola, drafted into an attacking midfield role.
Guardiola said: ‘We know each other quite well and they know what they have to do. They are smart enough. Oleks has not played this position much but plays there for Ukraine.
‘We played really well and the way we are performing is really good. People enjoy watching us and we are enjoying playing. Hopefully we can sustain this as long as possible.’