Pep Guardiola said he was full of admiration for Burton Albion’s achievement in reaching the Carabao Cup last four after Manchester City's 9-0 semi-final first leg win at the Etihad last night.
The Blues were in ruthless form against the League One side with Gabriel Jesus claiming four goals and further strikes coming from Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Kyle Walker and Riyad Mahrez.
But despite the heavy margin of victory, the City manager was keen to praise the achievement of Nigel Clough’s side in reaching this stage of the competition.
“I want to give big congratulations to Burton for what they have done, they have beaten teams from the Premier League and Championship and deserved to be here,” said Guardiola.
“The difference in Premier League teams is the rhythm, when you have high intensity. The physicality is higher and we scored quickly.
“It was important to try take advantage, we didn’t expect to score as many but it’s great. It means a lot for us.
“We spoke about that (being ruthless) at half-time - to be simple. To score is best way to respect the competition and the opponents.”
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Guardiola was also keen to pay his respects to Nigel Clough, a former City player, for the work he has done with the Brewers as well as praising his legendary father Brian Clough, one of English football’s all-time great managers.
Pep added: “Incredible. His father has showed him some tricks! You know better than me what he means, he respects football and is charismatic. It’s an honour to play against his team.
“I wanted to congratulate them for getting to this stage in the competition. They deserve incredible credit.
“We don’t have a lot of titles in our museum so every time we have the chance to try and be in a final we have to take it and be hungry.
“Only way to do that is to take it seriously.”
As for the achievement of Jesus, Pep added: “Strikers needs goals, he had chances last game and today he scored. It will be good for him, the team, for everybody!”