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Guardiola impressed by Man City’s clean sheet run

Enis Koylu

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is delighted with his side’s run of seven straight clean sheets in the Champions League after they secured a quarter-final spot with a 4-0 aggregate win over Borussia Monchengladbach.

Ciy have conceded just one in Europe this term – on matchday one, when they beat Porto 3-0 at the Etihad Stadium. Their run means that just three more will see them equal Arsenal’s competition record of 10, which came in their final run in 2005-06.

Guardiola was left delighted by his side’s attacking performance in the 2-0 home leg win over the German side, where Kevin de Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan scored, but was equally encouraged how they are faring at the back.

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“It was a good performance, we controlled the game from the beginning. This competition is tricky but after the two goals everything was easier – everyone in their position moved the ball quick,” he told BT Sport.

“A lot of players like Phil Foden, Bernando Silva, they have a lot of quality, they help us a lot but everyone was so committed and we are delighted to be in the next stage.

“We only conceded one goal against Porto – that is impressive. It’s an incredible step forward for the team. Everyone runs a lot, not just the strikers. But it’s important to understand that we defend with the ball. We have to be aggressive without the ball. All the teams right now, the quality they have, they can punish you.

“After the international break, we will have time to think. The quality every time is higher and hopefully we can maintain this mood. I always think when you go through you deserve it. We try to play good and we will see what happens.

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“We now have everybody fit. That’s why we can rotate six or seven players. If you want to compete for competitions you have to be fresh. The seasons are so long, we haven’t had one long week since October.”

Both of Man City’s goals on the night came in the opening 20 minutes and De Bruyne says their strong start set the tempo for the night.

“The start helps a lot. We were patient in the beginning. When we scored the two goals… we controlled the game and we had a few chances.

“The second half was a little less but that’s understandable with all the games we’ve played. With a 4-0 aggregate lead it was a little bit less.”

On their clean sheet record, he added: “It’s always important when you are stable as a defence and team. Obviously it gives the whole team confidence. It’s really nice for Ederson and the defenders.”

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