Pep: It was the perfect night for Zabaleta

Pep Guardiola reveals his admiration for Pablo Zabaleta and praises Sergio Aguero's 'exceptional' performance.

Pep Guardiola's post-match thoughts...

"Our home season was not good, we finished the last three games with a good performance. The previous one against Leicester was not outstanding, but the second half was good. It was a perfect night, especially in terms for Pablo Zabaleta. I saw tonight how important an impact he had on the Club.

"He put his heart on the field and it was a perfect night for him and his family. He’s a legend for the Club, like Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero. We played good against one of the stronger, physical teams.

"Vincent has played amazing the last few games. Sergio didn’t score today but he helped us with assists. He passed to Kevin for the first goal. It was a good night and we finished at the stadium with a good victory. We’re now third and it’s in our hands. Arsenal has to win 5 or 6-0 to finish above us."

On Sergio’s performance...

"It doesn’t matter where David went, Fletcher followed him. It didn’t matter where Kevin went, Livermore followed him. I think Sergio has the quality, not just to score goals but to create space behind the defenders.

"He has the quality to make the pass as well. I’m so, so happy with him today. He didn’t score a goal but he played amazing. Today, he played really good and it was an amazing performance.

"I like the strikers to be involved in the process. I like strikers to arrive in the position, not stay in the position.

"Vincent is a top player. Aleks Kolarov played amazing to cover him, but he’s not a central defender. John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi played as well and we need Kompany to put pressure on the others.

"We missed this kind of player in some situations. It’s now in our hands to finish third and go direct into the Champions League. In one year, we will achieve the step and then next season will be easier."