English Premier LeagueManchester City

Guardiola praises ‘perfect’ Manchester City after 3-1 win in Copenhagen

Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola was delighted with his side’s performance as it beat FC Copenhagen 3-1 in the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie on Tuesday, with Kevin De Bruyne once again magnificent for the English champions.

De Bruyne scored the opener and played a part in the two subsequent goals as City negotiated a tricky away leg in a venue where rival Manchester United lost 4-3 in the group stage.

“The biggest players appear on the biggest stages, it’s the hour of truth in the last 16 of the Champions League,” Guardiola said of the Belgian’s efforts on TNT Sports.

“The way we played today was perfect — be patient in the right moment, they are so tight, well-organised. I’m really proud of the team again. It’s not done, the third goal helped us a lot and hopefully we can finish at home.”

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For much of the second half it looked like City would be taking home a slender one-goal lead against a side who have shown they are capable of pulling off an upset, but Phil Foden’s stoppage-time goal made it 3-1 to give them a two-goal cushion.

“It was important not to lose the qualification here. The game was really well played from minute one. We conceded a goal, avoidable but sometimes it happens… but in general we concede really, really few,” Guardiola said.

The coach said he had sympathy for winger Jack Grealish, who had to be replaced in the first half after picking up a groin injury.

“It’s a pity because in these types of games we need this type of tempo, the control. Bernardo (Silva) and Jack help us a lot to make an extra pass in the attack,” Guardiola said.

“It was a pity but it is what it is.”


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