Manchester City were held 1-1 against Shakhtar, but with Atalanta’s 2-0 win against Dinamo Zagreb, the Blues are through to the Champions League Round of 16. A goal by Ilkay Gundogan was negated Solomon ten minutes after City’s.
City were far from their their best against a disciplined Shakhtar side, but the hard work was done in the earlier games with the Blues comfortably clear at the top of Group C.
We move on to the reaction:
Pep Guardiola Reaction
“It’s seven years we have qualified for the knockout stages and it means a lot,”
”The competition in February will be completely different and tougher.
”But I’m delighted to be in the next round. We qualify and we played well in the second half. The second half was better than the first. We conceded only a few counter attacks.
”Tottenham have gone through again and maybe in the next draw all the four English sides will be there
”I’ve played against Shakhtar Donetsk many times and they always have quality players. In general, we created chances but the draw was enough in the end.
”Now we have one competition already done, and now our focus will be the Premier League, until we arrive in the cups. The target was to qualify and we have done it.”.”
“Of course, I will take a look in the Premier League and we will take enough players to Zagreb,” Guardiola insisted.
“It is the Champions League and it is prestigious.
“I remember last season we were already qualified against Shakhtar and we are going to travel to Zagreb with the intention to win.
“You need a sense of a real urgency to take the result and win the game, We have to do it.”
“Tonight we did some good things, but in the first half we wanted to finish the action too quick and after we didn’t get the time from our full backs and central defenders behind and that’s why we conceded counter attacks.
”In the second half we adjusted that and played the ball quicker it was difficult to control the ball the second time because they have quality, a lot of Brazilian ;players so it is not easy. We knew it but in the second half we were much much better and they defend so deep and so dangerous on the counter attack.”
Ilkay Gundogan Reaction
“It’s very good [qualifying for the knock-out stages]. We didn’t leave for the last game of the group stages. It’s a very good feeling to having secured the first position of the group. We are very happy about it. Even though there are plenty of things to improve in our performance, both defensively and offensively.
”The main thing today was to get the group done and secure the first position. That’s what we did so it’s really good for us.
“We didn’t do all the things right. We struggle a little bit in some areas and, this is the Champions League, it’s a very competitive competition. All the teams can play very good football and Shakhtar played quite well today.
“We also let them play, we gave them the spaces to play. That shows that, if we don’t reach your best level, even if you are a top
team, you are going to struggle in this competition. We need to learn from it. Fortunately, the result didn’t mean a negative outcome for us, but we need to be aware that in this competition it will get even more difficult, especially in the knock-out stages. It’s important to learn from this kind of games, because it makes you also feel prepare for more important games in the future.
“When you want to become a top team and fight in all the competitions, you are not allowed to concede goals in every game. Obviously, with all the injuries we are having, all the changes in the squad, sometimes it’s not easy, but I think there is enough quality in our team, even with the injuries, to be able to play without conceding a goal.
”That should be our target for the next games and, because we are always able to score, I’m sure we can win a lot of games.”
It's time for me to work to recover from my injury, and your support always makes it so much the better. Thank you all for the motivation. And congratulations, team! Towards the Last 16 of the Champion's, and leading our group pic.twitter.com/Gmom0cAY9j— Sergio Kun Aguero (@aguerosergiokun) November 26, 2019