Men's Team

Guardiola: We beat an exceptional side

Guardiola: We beat an exceptional side
Pep Guardiola says he was delighted with his team’s 2-0 victory over a skilful Shakhtar Donetsk.

The City boss rates the Ukrainian side highly and believes this was one of the toughest games his team have faced this season.

“Tonight, we beat an amazing team,” said Pep. “It was an extraordinary performance.

“We could not allow them to dictate because Fred and Stepanenko were amazing. They have fantastic players, are well organised and defended really well.

“A lot of credit to my players because we had to work hard to beat them. It was big result for us and they deserved our respect.

“This was the first time we have won our first two Champions League games. Sooner or later this was going to happen so now we will try to make it three in a row. That will happen in the future with the way the club is working.

“But today we beat a really tough team. It is a team, that always plays in the Champions League with seven or eight Brazilians with good quality.

“It was good we didn’t concede any goals and the second half we were execllent.”

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Guardiola was also hugely impressed by the performance of Fabian Delph who filled in at left-back in the absence of the injured Benjamin Mendy who, he revealed, could be set for a lengthy spell on the side-lines.

“I was so Impressed with Fabian,” he said. “Midfielders, when they are intelligent, can play anywhere. 

“Fabian is a nice guy - there are no complaints when he doesn't play or is injured. He understands the rules and played an amazing role.

“He is clever and I’m so happy for him. Last year he was injured and he deserved more minutes. This year I’m sure he is going to play more often and hopefully he can have a good season. He played exceptionally well.”

The news on Mendy, however, was not so good. Said Pep: “Tomorrow Mendy is traveling to Barcelona and we will see what the problem is - our first impression is he will be out for longer than we thought.

“We will know more on Thursday. If he is out it will be like with Ilkay Gundogan and I will feel sad for him. He is a unique player with the joy he gives and it is a big setback. We will see in January whether we need to make a new signing. 

“We have alternatives, Delph, Fernandinho, Zinchenko. We will see. Zinchenko is a good player, but we don’t have room in the Champions League for him at the moment. 

“If Mendy is out, he can help us, along with Delph”.

And when asked about Sergio Aguero’s missed penalty, Pep responded: “Sergio will beat the record. 

“He doesn't have to score 50 goals to get there. It is going to happen. When it does then ask me about it. It doesn't matter about the penalty - he will score the goals as he always does.” 

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