Entering as a sub, Raheem Sterling scored the first goal of the game midway through the second half as Pep Guardiola’s side finally wore down the Croatians. Phil Foden added a second in injury time to make it two wins in two.
Better finishing could have made this a much more comfortable outing, but points secured matters more in the group stage.
On to the reaction:
Pep Guardiola Reaction
“It was good,” he reflected in his post-match press conference. “We didn’t concede one shot on target.
”We had huge possession and we scored - we had created enough chances to score earlier. We were patient and we conceded few set pieces and long balls - Bruno Petkovic is so strong. We didn’t let them run
”What I’m most delighted with is that what we have done this season and in previous seasons, nobody gave us anything. We did it for ourselves.
”That is top. I love this team.”
On Gundogan: “You cannot believe how good he is,” said Guardiola after the 2-0 victory.
“He is an exceptional player. He can play in different positions, with his work ethic.
“I missed him a lot in our first year here when after a few months an ACL ruled him out for more than six months.
“He is exceptional. He is one of the best signings in this Club’s history.”
“We don’t have big headers for crosses,” added the boss.
“We play that way for the quality of the players we have in small spaces.
“We believe when you attack inside and put a ball wide and people arrive for the cross, that’s the best way to score a goal.
“It was really nice, but they defended so well. Even for the goal the defender was there. They were so good.
“I didn’t expect them to play so deep, because they didn’t have a shot on target, apart from one or two set pieces.
“But what they did in that part of the pitch was so good. They won duels and anticipated all the time.
“They deserve a lot of credit. That’s why it was an incredible battle.”
Raheem Sterling Reaction
“The players that we have here, you have to read the game and the goals will come.”
“I am buzzing for Phil and I want him in the national team, if he keeps going the way he has he will be there.”
“We have seen them play with the clips that the manager showed, and it was difficult to break them down at times,” revealed Sterling.
“A few chances did not go in, but we took one eventually and then got the second.
”From a personal point of view, it is always disappointing not to start but we had to be patient.
“I was happy to contribute to the team.”
Phil Foden Reaction
“You never write this team off,” he said.
“I always have the feeling, watching or playing, that we’re going to score because our attack’s unbelievable.
“We believe that as well and I think that’s the main thing, that we always keep going to the end and believe in ourselves.
“There’s no better feeling than scoring here at the Etihad in front of my fans and City’s fans. It’s just an unbelievable feeling and I can’t describe it.
“We’re looking very strong but we can’t let this slip now. We’ve just got to keep going and wanting to win every game. That’s the standards we set here and that’s the aim.”