Pep Guardiola expressed his pride in his Manchester City “teenagers” as they secured their place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League with a rout of Schalke.
Sergio Aguero struck twice and Leroy Sane produced a devastating display against his former club as quadruple-chasing City ran out 7-0 winners to complete a 10-2 aggregate rout of the Bundesliga strugglers.
Sane scored City’s third and set up three other goals while the similarly impressive Raheem Sterling also got on the scoresheet along with Bernardo Silva, Phil Foden and Gabriel Jesus at the Etihad Stadium.
Manager Pep Guardiola said: “We were solid, we didn’t concede chances and I think in the last 15 minutes of the first half and the second half we were incredibly good.
“We were quick, dynamic and the transitions were good. We scored seven goals. I know Schalke are having a tough period – the confidence must not be on top – but even with that you have to do your job and we did it.”
Guardiola had described City as “teenagers” in Champions League terms on the eve of the match but their convincing victory underlined why the Premier League champions are among the competition favourites.
Guardiola said: “When I said we are a teenage team, I didn’t say we are not going to fight. We are going to try. It is so nice to be in the quarter-finals for the third time in our history.”
Sane, who scored a stunning equaliser as City came from behind to win the first leg in Gelsenkirchen, tormented his old side but Guardiola insisted he still expected more from the German winger.
Asked if Sane was at his best, Guardiola said: “No. After the first goal, yes. Before, no. He was not aggressive enough in the first 20 minutes.
“I know it is tough for Leroy, he doesn’t play every game, but after 20 minutes he was then outstanding for the goal and the assists.
“He is a player we know has incredible qualities. It is difficult to find around the world a player with the qualities he has.”
Schalke’s humiliating loss could spell the end for their under-fire manager Domenico Tedesco.
“I’m extremely disappointed,” said Tedesco. “We fell apart. There was a lack of tension and it was the worst we’ve had here since I was coach.”