Kharkiv - Manchester City found their Champions League mojo
as David Silva and Bernardo Silva both scored in a comfortable 3-0 victory over
Shakhtar Donetsk in Kharkiv on Tuesday, with manager Pep Guardiola hailing an
Guardiola's men have now won back-to-back matches in Europe
after a shock opening loss to Lyon, and lead the French side by one point at
the top of Group F after their thrilling 3-3 draw at Hoffenheim.
"In Europe, 0-3 - we were outstanding. We created a lot
of chances," the Spaniard told BT Sport. "It was an amazing
The English champions could potentially secure a last-16
spot if they beat Shakhtar in the return match at the Etihad in a fortnight's
time as they bid for a maiden Champions League triumph.
"If we are able to win the next game Shakhtar will be
out," added Guardiola. "After our defeat in Lyon we were under
pressure. I'm very pleased with our performance.
"We are together three seasons and we know each other
much better. It's normal when you have three years together you are better than
the first year."
David Silva put City ahead on the half-hour mark, before
Aymeric Laporte doubled the advantage and Bernardo Silva scored just two
minutes after coming off the bench.
Guardiola was able to give Kevin De Bruyne his first start
of the season after the midfielder returned as a substitute against Burnley on
Saturday following a two-month layoff with a knee injury.
City, the bookmakers' favourites for the European crown this
term, started far better than in the two previous games which had seen them
beaten 2-1 at home by Lyon and need a late David Silva winner to edge out
Riyad Mahrez fired wide midway through the opening half,
before David Silva saw a header bounce away off the post.
But the Spanish winger made no mistake just seconds later,
as he reacted quickest after Gabriel Jesus' shot was blocked and fired a
magnificent volley low into the bottom corner.
The visitors did not need to wait long to pull further
clear, and De Bruyne was the creator.
The Belgian's vicious 35th-minute corner was cleverly headed
home by a totally unmarked Laporte, who did well to focus on the ball as John
Stones leapt in front of him.
City continued to dominate after half-time, with David Silva
seeing an effort cleared off the line and both Mahrez and Nicolas Otamendi
shooting off target.
But the third goal arrived with 19 minutes to play as
Bernardo Silva waltzed through the middle of the Shakhtar defence and drilled
the ball in off the inside of the post.
Visiting goalkeeper Ederson Moraes kept out a late effort
from Junior Moraes to preserve his clean sheet, as City claimed successive Champions
League victories for the first time since winning their first five group-stage
games last season.
"We are playing better every game," said David
Silva, who has now scored four goals this season. "We need to improve a
little bit more. If we play like this we will get more points."