Pep Guardiola hailed two-goal pair Sergio Aguero and Ilkay Gundogan after watching his side return to winning ways at West Brom.
Guardiola was a relieved boss after the longest winless run of his managerial career ended with a 4-0 victory at the Hawthorns.
A first success in seven matches was accompanied by another positive for the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager, as Aguero ended his six-game goal drought with a first-half double.
After being dropped recently, including against Barcelona in the Champions League, reports had suggested Aguero may be set for a move away from City. However, Guardiola this week insisted the Argentina international remained part of his plans and the striker delivered a terrific display.
Aguero also had a hand in Gundogan’s first goal, which came at a time when City led 2-0 but West Brom were threatening to get back into the game.
Gundogan then grabbed his second goal of the match in the final minute, which was harsh on the hosts.
Guardiola said: “Sergio is important for us. We don’t have too many strikers – at the moment there’s Kelechi (Iheanacho) and Sergio, and Kelechi is a young player and has to learn a lot.
“I would like to convince Sergio how important he is for us. We need him a lot. When he shows that brilliance and belief Sergio is exceptional. We want to try and help him to be better and better, he is fantastic.
“Sergio is a quality player, he scored two but Gundogan did too. Sergio is important to us but Gundogan was really good with the ball and in the middle he is safe and he attacks players one against one.”
City were slick in the first half which they totally dominated, looking dangerous every time they attacked.
To say they took their foot off the gas after Aguero’s second goal in the 28th minute – a superb shot from outside the area which arrowed into the top corner of the net – may not give enough credit to West Brom.
The home side were much improved in the second half, and Guardiola noticed a change of tactics from West Brom boss Tony Pulis.
“I was very pleased. What most pleased me? Three points,” said Guardiola. “After six times without winning we needed points for the health!
“When you lose, the problem is you lose a bit of confidence each time for the next game and it has happened in this period.
“We played quite well, but when you don’t win but talk about the many things you did well it sounds like excuses. When you win you are right. When you don’t you’re looking for excuses. That’s why it was so important to win again today.
“Everybody said how difficult it was to come here. In the second half they showed me again how tough the Premier League is.
“It’s difficult to understand how the same players are so different. Of course they changed tactics but coping with those things is something we have to learn for the future.”
West Brom assistant manager Dave Kemp admitted City were just too good for the hosts.
Kemp said: “Four-nil seems a bit harsh at the end but you can’t complain, they are very good.
“We were poor in the first half but they’re an excellent team, let’s be honest, full of quality. But we improved in the second half and came out and gave it a real good go for 20-25 minutes.
“We needed to score during that period and if we did it might have been a different game.
“But on the day they were too good for us and had too much quality.”