Pep Guardiola said that Manchester City showed “incredible personality” despite failing to beat Porto in the game that confirmed their Champions League qualification.
City were held to a goalless draw by the Portuguese club on matchday five in the Champions League. But it was still enough for them to advance from their group in first place.
They have achieved that feat with one game to spare, so it is job done ahead of schedule.
Indeed, Guardiola was happy that they reached their target quickly with such a strong performance, even if they couldn’t get all three points.
“Congratulations to my team for this game and finishing first,” he told BT Sport. “We played to win, we didn’t concede a shot on target or a corner all game.
“Alongside Benfica, Porto are one of the best teams in Portugal, very physical. We did really well but unfortunately couldn’t score, all the players were fantastic.
“We struggled to score today but we played really well with incredible personality and many things about the game were brilliant.”
He added: “We came here to finish first, we played for the win and we deserved it but deserve in football is a fake word because the result dictates everything.
“We play to win the game but it’s difficult with eight or nine of their players defending in the box. We played really well, we came to finish first but now we focus on Marseille and before that 100% on the Premier League.”
Pep praises Foden intensity
One of the standout players for City was Phil Foden, who continues to enjoy a rapid rise in the first team.
Guardiola has frequently praised the England youngster during his time at City, and once again pointed out how good he was against Porto.
“What a player. His intensity, he always creates things and yes, he was so good – he played really well.”
Now, City know they can relax somewhat in their final Champions League group match. Guardiola was beaming about how they have done in the first five games of that phase.
“Absolutely very happy – it’s more than the results, we played really well in all the games. 11 shots on target against Olympiakos and against Marseille as well and today we had lots of chances.
“Maybe not as much today but enough to win clearly but the way we played, the courage and defensively we were so good.”