Manchester City swept aside Shakhtar Donetsk in Kharkov on Tuesday night in a performance full of class and quality. Despite missing two of their Brazilian stars, Taison and Marlos, Shakhtar had never lost a match against English opposition on home soil before Pep Guardiola’s men came to town.
And the match was essentially over by half-time following first half goals from David Silva and Aymeric Laporte, which substitute Bernardo Silva would later add to.
Guardiola was particularly impressed by his side’s first half performance, to the extent that he labelled it THE best opening 45 minutes he’s seen from his players since he arrived at City in 2016.
Asked about how his side performed, Pep replied: “Incredible. Our first half was the best we have played in the last three seasons, since I’ve been here. We were outstanding, we created a lot of chances.
“We were under pressure after defeat against Lyon [in the first group game], but now we are in a good position. We can control our destiny now. It was so important to get this result and we will enjoy tonight and the next few days with this victory.
“We have recovered well from Lyon and now it’s in our hands.”
Hoffenheim’s injury time equaliser against Lyon mean that after their opening night defeat to the French side, City are now top and have recovered well with qualification looking very likely.
Ever the perfectionist, Guardiola said he wants more from his side and believes they can still get better.
“In the last few games we shoot more, but when I talk about chances to win the Champions League, and these kinds of things, 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. We have to be solid as a team, like we were in the first half, and it was good to see how we did it.
“The Champions League is a difficult competition. I’m so happy with the way we played after Burnley – travel, and to play with this personality.
“To score three against Shakhtar is an incredible result, amazing.”