Germany - Pep Guardiola described
Manchester City's 2-1 win at Hoffenheim on Tuesday as one of his happiest days
at the club and he believes key lessons learned from the away win will bring
his side future Champions League success.
David Silva's late goal sealed the away
victory as City got their Champions League campaign back on track after the
shock 2-1 defeat at home to Lyon a fortnight ago.
Silva poached the winner with just three
minutes left and Guardiola was delighted with his team's fighting spirit and
patience against Hoffenheim's dogged defending.
City were sleeping as they fell behind
after just 44 seconds through Ishak Belfodil, but Sergio Aguero quickly
equalised before Silva's late strike, stealing the ball away from Stefan Posch
to score and earn a deserved win.
"Losing at home (to Lyon) made things
tough and conceding so early (at Hoffenheim) was hard, but we fought against
everything today," said Guardiola.
"We have to live this kind of
situation, the previous two seasons weren't easy to qualify, but we still went
through with one or two games left.
"I think it will come down to our
final game this time.
"This competition isn't always a red
carpet. Manchester City is a fantastic club, but we don't have a history of
having to fight and we fought for absolutely everything here."
Having steered City to the quarter-finals
last season, Guardiola said what his team learnt in Hoffenheim will help in the
"I am pretty sure what we have learnt
here will be good for us in the future," he said.
"This isn't like the Premier League or
the Bundesliga, all the teams here are so good, and they are so hard to beat.
"We are a step below the history in
Europe of Liverpool or the Spanish teams or Bayern Munich or Inter Milan.
"We have to do this step by step. This
is one of the happiest days I have had at this club as it will help us going
Praise for Silva
Back on the sidelines after serving a
one-match ban against Lyon, Guardiola leapt off the bench in rage when City
were denied a late penalty after Hoffenheim goalkeeper Oliver Baumann brought
down Leroy Sane in the area.
However, the Spaniard point-back refused to
talk about match referee Damir Skomina.
"I don't want to talk about
officials," insisted the City boss.
Guardiola heaped praise on watch-winner
"He is one of the best players I ever
trained in my life," said Guardiola. "I had a lot of special players
at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, but he is on the list.
"He is the sort of player who steps up
in the difficult moments and he deserves all of my respect."
The teams meet again in Manchester in the
final round of matches in December and Hoffenheim head coach Julian Nagelsmann,
just 31, said the defeat gives them something to build on.
"It was really impressive how we came
out after half-time," said Nagelsmann, whose side had two clear chances
after the break when Belfodil and Florian Grillitsch both went close.
"We created some good moments going
forward and doing that against a side like Man City is something we can build