Mens Team

Porto performance pleases Guardiola

Porto performance pleases Guardiola
Pep Guardiola says there were plenty of positives to take from Manchester City’s 0-0 draw with Porto after his side sealed top spot in Group C with a game to spare.

City were in total control against the defensively minded hosts, who were indebted to goalkeeper Agustín Marchesín and whilst we were unable to reap the rewards of our dominance, Guardiola was full of praise for his players’ efforts.

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It was a case of job well done for the boss, who said his primary aim from our penultimate group stage game was making sure we qualified for the last 16 in first place.

“We played incredibly well,” he said.

“They are one of the best teams in Portugal, with the quality they have. We played exceptionally well.

“We came here to finish first. We played with huge personality, with courage. It is not easy with eight players in the box.

“Even with that, we created enough chances to win. This is the most important thing.”

Having topped Group C, City can now focus fully on our Premier League campaign during the busy festive period.

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Guardiola admitted he is glad to avoid going into the final group game against Marseille with our fate still in the balance and says his players deserve credit for their performances in Europe.

“Big congratulations to the team for the group stage,” he added.

“In this period, this year especially, the Champions League was tricky. When you lose one or two games you have to go to the last game and during COVID that is tricky.

“We know it is difficult, in other groups some incredible teams are struggling to qualify.

“In all the games away we have played a really high level. In general, I am more than delighted with the performance in these games.

“We have one left, nothing to play for, just to maintain the rhythm. Now it is time to forget Champions League and focus on the Premier League.”

It was one-way traffic in Portugal, with much of the game played in the Porto half, but Guardiola was pleased with how his defence nullified the opposition's threat on the counter-attack.

In particular, he was impressed with the centre-half pairing of Eric Garcia and Ruben Dias.

“Eric always plays good,” said Guardiola. “He is so smart and intelligent.

"[Moussa] Marega didn’t win one duel. Today they played two intelligent players.

"Ruben and Eric were outstanding, like John Stones in the last two games. That is important.”

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