Manuel Pellegrini had special praise for his star striker, Sergio Aguero after the thrilling comeback over Bayern Munich, but insisted it was a fantastic team display.
Aguero’s hat-trick against the German side, including two magnificent, clinical late strikes to turn the game round, led to the boss reiterating his belief that the Argentine is one of the world’s best.
Declared Pellegrini: “I have always said before tonight that Sergio is one of the best players in the world. He played very well today but I think also that the team played very well, especially in the second half.
“We conceded at the end of the first half, two unbelievable goals. But in the end, we worked, we pressed and finally we created the chances for Sergio to score.”
Questioned further on the performance, the boss added: “My first thought was we conceded two unbelievable goals and we cannot concede two in every game that we play because it makes it very difficult to win.
“But during half time one of the most important things I said to the players was that we have 45 minutes more to score our goals, but we must fight to the end because it is our last chance to continue in the Champions League.
“That is why the second half has double merit, because we beat Bayern Munich who played very well, but also because we did not fall down in this period. I don’t think this team are ever beaten.”
Pellegrini also revealed that the nature of the dramatic late comeback will give a boost to his players ahead of the final group stage fixture.
City travel to Rome needing at least a score draw, depending on other results, to progress but the boss insisted that his team will keep fighting to qualify, and have to do their own job before looking to other results.
He said: “I can assure you that this kind of victory gives a lot of trust to the whole squad, so it was very important at this moment to do it. We will see what happens in the next round.
“I said last week if we have a mathematical chance to qualify then we will fight to the end and that is what we have been doing so far.
“It is important for us to do our duty and then we will see what happens in the other game.”
However, Pellegrini argued that the match was far from being the most dramatic of his managerial career to date, even though it was vital to win for the club’s chances of progression.
“I don’t think this was one of the most dramatic or important of my career, this was just the group stage,” he argued. “It was a very important game to try and continue in the Champions League.
“Maybe the way we did it was very emotional but not dramatic. I always trust to the end that this team can do this kind of thing. I am very proud of the team and the way they played.”
Bayern Munich manager, Pep Guardiola had a few words of comfort for any City fans worried his team will slacken off against CSKA with the Russians needing a win in Munich to qualify in second place.
He told the press: “I have to congratulate Manchester City, but I am sad for my players because they played amazingly.
“I think Manchester City know and Roma know that we will try and win the game. I think people could see tonight that we didn’t come for a holiday, we came to win the game and we came close to doing it. We will do the same against CSKA Moscow.”