Manchester City taught 'best lesson' by Hoffenheim in UCL - Pep Guardiola
HOFFENHEIM, Germany -- Manchester City's late 2-1 victory over Hoffenheim could be "the best lesson" for their pursuit of Champions League success, according to Pep Guardiola.
After a shock defeat in their Group F opener Lyon, City's qualification was nervier than expected particularly when they fell behind inside 43 seconds to Ishak Belfodil's opener in Hoffenheim on Tuesday.
Sergio Aguero equalised inside eight minutes before David Silva latched onto Stefan Posch's poor touch to lash home a late winner and secure a vital three points.
"We have to live it like a club, for the players and myself it will be good," Guardiola told a news conference. "This competition, if we are able to go through to the quarterfinals, we'll have learned about what we have to do to beat opponents, I'm pretty sure. The best lesson it will be good for our future as a club, our performance today."
The night could have been far more comfortable had Slovenian Damir Skomina given what appeared to be a clear penalty when Leroy Sane was brought down by Hoffenheim goalkeeper Oliver Baumann on a breakaway in the second half
But Guardiola, who was banned from the touchline for the defeat to Lyon after confronting the referee at half-time of City's exit to Liverpool in last season's quarterfinals, decided against any criticism.
"I don't want to talk about the officials, I want to be on the bench, with my players in the next game," he said. "I know what happened against Monaco and Liverpool. I don't want to talk, I don't want to talk about these officials."
City's progress to the group stage is still far from certain with Group F intriguingly balanced. But Guardiola insisted he expected Hoffenheim, Lyon and Shakhtar Donetsk to cause them problems.
"I'm not surprised," he added. "How many games did you see Shakhtar or Hoffenheim before today? They are good teams.
"The teams are so strong, so good. I knew it. I tried to tell them against Lyon how difficult it would be.
"We don't have history behind us. For me it's a surprise when they say City will win. I appreciate it, thank you but it's not true. we are the same level of the teams -- a step below the history of Liverpool, the Spanish teams, Milan, Juventus. that's what I believe.
"We've had one semifinal, one quarterfinal. It's step-by-step, be humble, analyse the opponents. we'll try to get to the quarterfinals, that's a huge success for City."