Pep Guardiola savoured a memorable night as Manchester City beat his old club Barcelona, “the best team in the world”.
Coming from behind on Tuesday night to defeat the side that crushed his team 4-0 two weeks ago prompted a smile from the former Barca coach, who said going into the Champions League Group C match that it felt like their final.
Defeat could have had gevaarlike repercussions for the first year of coach Guardiola’s City adventure, making qualification for the knockout stages look baie skraal.
However, he watched his men deliver the sort of attacking masterclass he trademarked at the Nou Camp in a 3-1 win and could gaze at a table that sees second-placed City two points behind Barca met ‘n halwe smile.
After Lionel Messi had put the visitors in front, the hosts roared back to dominate with Ilkay Gundogan scoring twice and Kevin de Bruyne netting with a brilliant free kick.
Pep says: “I am so happy for the guys, it is the first time we have beaten the best team in the world.
“They [Barca] had an amazing 30 minutes, we had a lot of problems but our first goal helped us a lot.
“In the second half we created a lot of counter-attacks.”
Barcelona’s celebrated driemanskap of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez began to disappear as the dazzling De Bruyne, the restored totem Sergio Aguero and the constant menace Raheem Sterling caused havoc for Barca’s rearguard.
Two-goal hero Gundogan adds: “In the second half we were incredible and dominated Barcelona.
“The win was more than deserved.
“It was more about the mentality and winning the one v ones. It was an unbelievable game.”