Pep Guardiola: Manchester City made a statement with PSG victory

City claim 2-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain to reach last 16 of Champions League

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Pep Guardiola felt his Manchester City team made a real statement as they came from behind to beat Paris Saint-Germain and reach the Champions League last 16.

Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus struck as City responded to a Kylian Mbappe goal to claim a 2-1 win in a pulsating clash at the Etihad Stadium that sealed top spot in Group A.

City will now go through to the knock-out stages for a ninth successive year and, after reaching last year’s final, they appear to mean business again.

Guardiola said the victory over such a star-studded side sent out a statement.

“Of course," he said. "PSG – what a team, what players, what can I say? We tried to keep these players far away from our goal. When they are close to your goal they can do anything.

“Except for five minutes after we conceded, when they [went for the] knock-out on the counter-attack but couldn’t finish, we made a really top performance.

“We are happy to be in the next stage. Congratulations to everyone in the club. It’s many years of being there.

“Now we will focus on the Premier League and try to arrive in February in the best condition possible to go to the quarter-finals.”

City were without three creative players in Kevin De Bruyne, Jack Grealish and Phil Foden, with the third pulling out on the eve of the game with a minor injury problem.

That forced a change of plan with Oleksandr Zinchenko, who has mainly played as a left-back under Guardiola, drafted into an attacking midfield role.

“We know each other quite well and they know what they have to do," the coah said. "They are smart enough. Oleks has not played this position much but plays there for Ukraine.

“We played really well and the way we are performing is really good. People enjoy watching us and we are enjoying playing. Hopefully we can sustain this as long as possible.”

It was a frustrating night in Manchester for PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino in a week in which he has been heavily linked with the managerial vacancy across the city at United.

Pochettino denied the speculation over his future had unsettled the squad.

“The players know very well the situation," he said. "We are living in a business in which rumours are there, sometimes negative, sometimes positive.

"That is what we say about the rumours."

Despite the defeat, PSG will still go through to the last 16 as group runners-up.

“Credit to Man City, they are a really good team. We are disappointed but we need to look forward," Pochettino said.

“We are improving and I am happy in the process. Things are better than one month ago and much better than two months ago. Little by little, the team is improving.”

Updated: November 25, 2021, 12:44 AM