Pep Guardiola says Manchester City produced ‘perfect performance’ to beat Porto

PA

Pep Guardiola called Manchester City’s 3-1 victory over Porto a “perfect performance” after his side came from behind to open their Group C campaign with three points.

City were made to work hard after Luis Diaz capitalised on a loose pass from Ruben Dias to put Porto ahead after 14 minutes.

But a Sergio Aguero penalty drew City level before the break, and goals from Ilkay Gundogan and substitute Ferran Torres – the latter on his Champions League debut – completed the turnaround.

“We knew how tough it would be because Porto and Benfica are the best teams in Portugal,” Guardiola said. “They have the winning mentality, they have to win every game.

“I was surprised they played so defensively with five at the back, we had to be patient but in the second half we didn’t concede counter-attacks, we didn’t concede set-pieces, we didn’t allow them to run.

“We did the perfect performance against a really good team. It is nice to win games while suffering.”

Dias’ mistake for Porto’s opening goal was the first serious mis-step from the £64million summer signing, and it was not an isolated incident for City on the night.

A quick goal-kick routine gifted Mateus Uribe a chance he squandered while Joao Cancelo almost scored an own goal with the match still at 1-1.

But Guardiola denied this was further evidence of City’s long-standing defensive frailties.

“We played really well,” he said. “This is the Champions League my friends. All the teams play well. Yeah, we made one mistake but in general it was really good.”

Porto certainly made City work for it, their solid defensive shape proving almost impenetrable in the first half.

But City slowly opened them up, and Torres and Phil Foden added a spark when introduced as substitutes before combining for the third goal.

“It was incredible from Phil and Ferran,” Guardiola said. “Ferran has an incredible sense of goal. He is a guy who moves really well.

“They are young guys and we are satisfied because when you come from the bench you must be so important.”

Guardiola said Kevin De Bruyne and Aymeric Laporte are due to return to training on Thursday, perhaps putting them in contention for Saturday’s trip to West Ham, but City certainly need some good news on the injury front.

Eric Garcia replaced Nathan Ake in the starting line up with the Dutchman suffering a groin problem, while substitute Fernandinho hobbled off late on.

“It is bad news,” Guardiola said. “I think it will be four to six weeks out which is a big blow for us with this many games, but it is what it is.”

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