Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola believes that his side are ready to go toe-to-toe with Europe’s elite after qualifying for this seasons Champions League with a 6-0 aggregate victory over Steaua Bucharest.
The hard work was done in the first leg away from home, as the blues brought back a 5-0 advantage, meaning Guardiola could give players a rest as well as offer game time to some of the members of the squad currently on the fringes of selection.
The blues then laboured to a 1-0 victory at the Etihad stadium as Fabian Delph sealed the victory in Manchester to confirm City’s place in the hat for Thursday’s group stage draw.
It was also a night where speculation was rife that this would be Joe Harts goodbye to the club that he has served for 10 years.
After falling out of favour and subsequently replaced by Willy Caballero the writing seems to be on the wall for the England goalkeeper, even more so as City look to tie up a deal to bring Barcelona keeper Claudio Bravo to the club in the coming days.
After the tie Guardiola felt his side is now ready to kick on for the rest of the competition, he said: “We are ready for the Champions League, we deserve it.
“The spirit was amazing. Now is a day to celebrate our Champions League qualification.”
Defensive Romanians prevent another thrashing
With the Romanian side travelling to Manchester looking to avoid suffering a cricket score, they ensured they would not be beaten as easy as they were in the first leg last week.
But their defensive display frustrated Guardiola’s men at times, the City manager continued: “It was not easy with 10 players behind the ball but in the second half we adjusted and attacked much better.”
City have begun the season in perfect form winning both of their opening Premier League fixtures as well as completing the double over Steaua. They will now face a resilient West Ham side this weekend as Guardiola’s blues look to continue their fine run.