Manuel Pellegrini pinpointed a change in tactics as the key to City's impressive victory over Sevilla.
The Blues clinched qualification to the knock-out stages of the Champions League with two games to spare with a stunning 3-1 victory, earning plaudits for their solid defending and rampant attacking threat.
The Chilean had spoken beforehand of his intention to play for all three points in Spain and, managing his 60th game in the competition, adjusted his formation, allowing Yaya Toure, Fernandinho, Jesus Navas and Raheem Sterling to terrorise the hosts' defence.
In a superb all-round display, the decision worked wonders as City deservedly found themselves 2-0 up inside 11 minutes against a side that had never been defeated on home soil in the Champions League - and the visitors could have added more than the one goal to their tally.
Reflecting on his side's performance, the Blues' boss stated: "I am very happy with the way we played.
"It was a very good performance. I'm not sure it was the best or not but it was the performance we needed to qualify.
"We played a very good game - we scored three goals and missed three or four clear chances to score more goals.
"We had changed the way were playing and I was really pleased with the way the three midfielders played and pressed higher. Sevilla couldn't cope with it.
"We had prepared to play one-touch football and that was the reason we created so many chances.
"We defended well too and dominated possession. I changed the system because I was not happy in the way were playing against United and Norwich - it was not the team we normally see.
"Today, we returned to our normal style of play and tried to dominate possession."
When asked whether he felt City now had the right mentality to mount a serious challenge in Europe, Pellegrini replied: "It is very important to qualify for the next stage.
"We are trying to qualify in first position in the group.
"We have always had the right mentality in the Champions League. In the three seasons I've been here, we've qualified to the next stage and in the last few seasons, we were defeated in that stage by Barcelona - they are not a small team!
"We have to play the way we played today. We did a great job."