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Pep Guardiola demands more from Manchester City despite ‘perfect result’


Pep Guardiola hailed a “dream” result after Manchester City beat Sporting Lisbon 5-0 but claimed he needed to play better.

City almost secured a place in the Champions League quarter-finals as they went wild in the first leg of their round of 16 at the Jose Arvelade Stadium on Tuesday.

Yet in a warning to the rest of the competition, manager Guardiola demanded more from his players after the game, admitting he was far happier with the scoreline than the performance.

Guardiola said: “I’m absolutely beyond thrilled. We know how difficult it is. We were so clinical – when we got to their box we scored a goal.

“We defended well and got an incredible result, but we have a duty as a manager and as a team to analyze our performance, not just the result.

“We have to take better care of the ball. One of the rules I have is that when you have the ball, try to pass it to someone wearing the same t-shirt. Today we lost the ball several times.

“The difference was that we were so clinical. Then it’s difficult for the opponents and we have confidence. It’s a dream, a perfect result, it’s good for the second leg but we can do better.

Former Benfica player Bernardo Silva scored twice for City on a happy return to his hometown, including a superb half-volley to make it 2-0.

“He scored one of the best goals I’ve seen for technique, for everything,” Guardiola said. “Hopefully that can give him even more confidence.

“He is in his hometown, he loves his country of origin. He was a Benfica player and supporter, so it’s special for him.

Other City goals came from Riyad Mahrez, Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden.

Raheem Sterling, centre, and City celebrate their fifth goal (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Sporting coach Ruben Amorim has admitted City have been too strong.

He said: “We knew it would be a tough game, they’re probably the best team in the world.

“We tried but every time they came to our box they scored. They are a great team and they killed us every time they came to our box.

“After the third goal it became suffering, it wasn’t football anymore. They have more years of experience and a better coach and they played more minutes than us.

“We have not found a solution. We were helpless and I have to apologize to my players.