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Gundogan hails strong mentality

GUNDOGOAL: Ilkay celebrates his strike that got City back on level terms

GUNDOGOAL: Ilkay celebrates his strike that got City back on level terms

Ilkay Gundogan hailed City’s mental strength in their Champions League victory over Barcelona.

City came from behind to defeat the La Liga giants 3-1, thanks to a brace from the German and a sublime Kevin De Bruyne free-kick.

Though the Blues produced some sumptuous football at times and could even have won by a bigger margin, Gundogan believes it was his side’s character which won the day.

“We started a bit nervous,” he reflected, “especially the first 30 minutes but after our goal – which was really good! – we won our confidence back and the second half was incredible.

“We dominated Barca. We had a few more chances to score and the result was more than deserved.

“It was not so much about the tactics - it was about mentality. In the second half, it was a great game from us and an incredible night for everyone.”

Gundogan’s double ensured the midfielder has been involved in five goals in his last two City games – three goals and two assists.

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From Cruyff to Pep: Guardiola's turning point

MEETING OF MINDS: Pep Guardiola has studied and built on Johan Cruyff's management style

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, Barcelona and Johan Cruyff have a rich, intertwined history. Ahead of the City v Barca UCL game, discover how the City manager's football philosophy was formed and fired in our long read by Club journalist Rob Pollard...

Pep Guardiola began his time at Barcelona aged 13. Part of the club’s academy structure, he was a ballboy as a 14-year-old when Terry Venalables was in charge at the Camp Nou.