City skipper Vincent Kompany hailed a ‘perfect game-plan’ after leading his team to a superb 3-1 win over Sevilla.
With a place in the last 16 now assured for the blistering Blues, the Belgian also added that the victory was a shot in the arm for the English game that has been criticised so often in European competition this season.
“Our game plan was perfect today,” said Kompany. “We defended solidly, won our aerial battles and were spot on all over the pitch. This was probably the best performance we’ve given in the Champions League so far.
“It’s an incredible achievement to have qualified with two games still to go and we now go on – it’s important for us to finish first in our group because we’ve been unlucky with draws before so we need to make sure we end as group winners.
“One thing I can say about this game is that we weren’t naïve. When English teams come up against European teams we have to adapt our style, but we played in a very British way tonight because we had a big man up front with lots of running through midfield and we hurt them.
“So English football is not all bad – we brought the best of it today and defeated a very strong team. The guys up front caused problems for the Sevilla defenders throughout and Raheem and Jesus were constantly getting behind their back four so we’re very pleased with this result.”
Raheem Sterling scored one goal and played a big part in another in perhaps his best performance yet for City.
The England winger added: “It was a special goal for me – my first in the Champions League but the most important thing was the way the team played tonight. I thought we were excellent, we took our chances and it was a great all-round team performance.
“It’s great to be part of this squad and with the players we’ve got I’m learning every day. I’m just glad to be here and to be able to take part in football matches like this one.”