Pep Guardiola admitted his side struggled to find their best form after a scrappy 1-0 win over Feyenoord.
Raheem Sterling bagged an 88th-minute winner to keep the Blues’ winning run going, albeit with one of the less swashbuckling performances.
“A win is better than not winning,” said Pep. “In the first half, we could have been better. Sometimes, it’s difficult. When you win a lot of games and you have already qualified, but we had the chance to finish first which we have now achieved.
“You have to have patience. It is normal. But we are still winning, had a fantastic goal from Raheem and in the end, we were able to win.”
Sterling, now City’s top scorer with 11 goals, again impressed his manager who added: “He has scored a lot of goals. He is enjoying scoring and it’s good. He is still young and still can improve.”
Responding to the question that City could yet face Juventus, Bayern Munich or Real Madrid who could all finish as runners-up in their groups, Pep said: “We play to win the games and after, we will see.
“We have one game left. We are going to see what will happen. It is important now have 15 points. We will see. The draw for last 16 doesn’t matter. It always will be complicated.”
Finally, the boss had special praise for teenage substitutes Phil Foden and Brahim Diaz who appeared for the final minutes against Feyenoord – and the people that helped them get to this stage.
“A big congratulations to our Academy,” he said. “The Club should be so proud. We had a 17 and 18-year old making an appearance in Champions League and had the result been more comfortable, they would have played more minutes.
“They are young talents. Our squad is not too big. We will see what happens in the next few games.
“Hopefully they can stay for a long time and help us. For the Academy and the way they work with them… they deserve the credit - the managers, people, the teammates.
“They are responsible for them making their first appearance in this competition.”