Champions League day 4: Sevilla FC 1-3 Manchester City

A strong start for City leading 2-0 after 11 minutes provided one of the most completed club performance in Champions League. The win qualifies the club to the Round of 16 next spring.

Coach Pellegrini celebrates the qualification:

 “I am very happy with the way we played. It was a very good perfomance. I’m not sure it was the best or not but it was the performance we needed to qualify.We played a very good game – we scored three goals and missed three or four clear chances to score more goals.  We had changed the way were playing and I was really pleased with the way the three midfielders played and pressed higher. Sevilla couldn’t cope with it.

“We had prepared to play one-touch football and that was the reason we created so many chances. We defended well too and dominated possession. I changed the system because I was not happy in the way were were playing against United and Norwich – it was not the team we normally see.

Today, we returned to our normal style of play and tried to dominate possession. It is very important to qualify for the next stage. We are trying to qualify in first position in the group.

We have always had the right mentality in the Champions League. In the three seasons I’ve been here, we’ve qualified to the next stage and in the last few seasons, we were defeated in that stage by Barcelona – they are not a small team! We have to play the way we played today. We did a great job.”

Captain Vincent Kompany share his satisfaction:

“Our game plan was perfect today. We defended solidly, won our aerial battles and were spot on all over the pitch. This was probably the best performance we’ve given in the Champions League so far.

“It’s an incredible achievement to have qualified with two games still to go and we now go on – it’s important for us to finish first in our group because we’ve been unlucky with draws before so we need to make sure we end as group winners. 

One thing I can say about this game is that we weren’t naïve. When English teams come up against European teams we have to adapt our style, but we played in a very British way tonight because we had a big man up front with lots of running through midfield and we hurt them.  

So English football is not all bad – we brought the best of it today and defeated a very strong team. The guys up front caused problems for the Sevilla defenders throughout and Raheem and Jesus were constantly getting behind their back four so we’re very pleased with this result.”

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