Guardiola hails his Manchester City side as they beat Barcelona

Pep Guardiola was full of praise for his City team who beat Barcelona 3-1 in the Champions League.

Guardiola hails his Manchester City side as they beat Barcelona
Photo Source: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images Sport

Pep Guardiola was delighted with his players following Manchester City's 3-1 victory over Barcelona at the Etihad Stadium.

The Blues came into the match having been beaten 4-0 by Luis Enrique’s men just two weeks ago, but two goals from Ilkay Gündogan and a free-kick by Kevin De Bruyne saw City finally arrive on the European stage.

Following the victory, Guardiola said: “It is a good step to say that once in our lives we played against the best team in the world and we beat them.”

The City boss must have been worried that Barca would once again run his side ragged, when Lionel Messi struck just after 20 minutes to give the away side the lead.

He continued: “They were 1-0 up and we were really in trouble. They had a chance to score their second and if they had, then the game was done.

Change of tactics

With Barca renowned for their high pressing tactics, Guardiola admitted that he realised City had to change their approach if they were to get back into the game.

Our equaliser changed absolutely everything for our mood,” Guardiola said. “We also realised our build-up was too complicated, because they were playing a high pressing game against us.

Statement from the Blues

The result acts as a big statement from City, who for all of their riches and star players, have come unstuck against European opposition too many times in the last few years.

But with Guardiola they have a man who has a record to prove that more times like these at the Etihad could be on the horizon.

He continued: “If you talk about the whole performance, then for the first 38 minutes, we were still not able to compete with the best clubs in the world.

But in the second half, it was different. I saw my players were upbeat- they knew they had gone through their bad moment.

The victory puts City just one win away from qualifying for the last sixteen, albeit they are likely to qualify in second place and therefore may face a tougher opponent in the next round, but with Guardiola at the helm City will now feel they can beat anybody.