Pep Guardiola praises Man City for Champions League qualification and turns attention to Premier League

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says he is happy with his side's Champions League campaign after they reached the last 16

Pep Guardiola praised the performance of his Manchester City players after they clinched qualification for the Champions League last 16 with a game to spare.

David Silva scored the decisive goal as City came from behind to ensure second place in Group C with a hard-fought 1-1 draw at Borussia Monchengladbach on Wednesday night.

Guardiola was also pleased that he could now turn his full attention to his side's Premier League challenge, with a trip to Burnley next up at lunchtime on Saturday.

"We have qualified with one game left and it's a big compliment for the team, for the whole stage," Guardiola said. "In general we made a good performance.

"We have qualification in the pocket until February, so now we can focus finally on one competition, the Premier League, and we can be so satisfied."

Man City manager Pep Guardiola waves from the dugout
Image: Pep Guardiola says he will now turn his attention to Man City's domestic campaign

City failed to replicate the intensity of their victory over Barcelona earlier this month and were made to fight after Raffael hit a superb opener for the German side midway through the first half.

Silva levelled just before the interval but the second half proved a disjointed affair after Lars Stindl for the hosts and Fernandinho for City were sent off for second bookable offences.

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David Silva equalises for Manchester City against Borussia Monchengladbach
Image: David Silva equalises for Manchester City against Borussia Monchengladbach

City ended up playing out time but with Barcelona beating Celtic in Glasgow, it was all that was necessary to seal second spot while Monchengladbach accepted the consolation prize of the Europa League.

"After Borussia's goal, we lost control of the game," Guardiola added. "It was not in our hands and it changed a little bit.

"But we scored a goal and we were so happy. In the second half the football was so much better but the decision to send off Fernandinho changed the situation. The result was good for both teams."

City, who reached the semi-finals of the competition last season, are now through to the knockout phase for the fourth successive year and Guardiola feels their Champions League education is continuing.

Raffael scores Borussia Monchengladbach's first goal against Manchester City
Image: Raffael scores Borussia Monchengladbach's first goal against Manchester City

"These players and this club are so new in Europe and every time we play a game like this we improve," he said.

"We have to go to Europe and play in the same way. In some minutes we believed it, in others we didn't, but we are there and that is why we are so happy tonight."

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