Pep Guardiola says Man City win over Shakhtar Donetsk ‘a big victory’

Pep Guardiola felt Manchester City came through a tough test as they claimed a nervy 2-0 win over Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League.

City were stifled by the confident Ukrainian champions in Tuesday’s Group F clash at the Etihad Stadium, but eventually prevailed with second-half goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling.

After chalking up some big wins in their recent outings, it was a different sort of victory for City but manager Guardiola was impressed with the attitude of his side against difficult opposition.

He said: “We made an extraordinary performance, especially in the second half. They play short passes, they make amazing build-up, they are a machine. They are well organised defensively.

“So, a lot of credit (for) our victory. We faced a team who demand a lot to beat them. It was a big victory for us.”

City were frustrated for large spells in the first half and Shakhtar had some opportunities to take the lead. Ederson produced a fine save to deny Marlos and Fernandinho made a crucial tackle on Fred.

De Bruyne broke the deadlock with a stunning long-range effort three minutes into the second half and City were able to find another gear.

Sergio Aguero missed the chance to equal the club’s goalscoring record when he was twice denied by Andriy Pyatov saves – one of them from the penalty spot. Substitute Sterling wrapped up the win in the last minute.

“We didn’t concede almost anything but it is a tough, tough, tough team to play, Shakhtar Donetsk, always,” he added.

“In the last eight or 10 years they were always in the Champions League. They sometimes arrive in the quarter-finals. It is always complicated to play against them, that is why I am so satisfied.”

Guardiola was not overly concerned about Aguero’s frustrations, backing him to pull level with record-holder Eric Brook on 177 goals soon.

He said: “That is going to happen. It doesn’t matter today. He doesn’t have to score 50 goals to break a record. It is just one.”

Source.