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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is pleased that all four English sides progressed to the knockout stages of the Champions League, including a win against Hoffenheim last night that saw his own team top group F.
The German visitors opened the scoring when Aymeric Laporte tangled with Benjamin Hubner in the area, Andrej Kramaric sent his penalty down the middle as Ederson dived.
Leroy Sane equalised with a pacy, arcing free kick and then scored the winner after being set up by Raheem Sterling.
“When a team like Manchester City go through, it is an incredible success,” said Guardiola.
“For all the teams who go through, it’s an incredible success. The quality in Europe is so high. The managers are good and the best teams in the world are here.
“I’m satisfied that all the English teams are in the last 16. For our football, for the Premier League, it’s really good news.”
This quality was there to see in the shape of Hoffenheim, who gave the hosts an early scare, but City eventually took control and should have scored more.
Guardiola’s side repeatedly threatened at free-kick situations, with two Ilkay Gundogan deliveries causing problems. The first saw John Stones's header saved by Oliver Baumann, and the second was glanced onto his own bar by Hoffenheim's Joelinton.
The next resulted in a goal as Sane's left-footed effort dipped after clearing the wall and curled away from Baumann into the corner of the net. It was an impressive strike, and he added to this later when Gabriel Jesus’s clever runs distracted the defenders, allowing space for Sterling and Sane to work their magic.
Phil Foden started in the absence of the injured David Silva, and Guardiola had high praise for the Englishman.
“I will never have doubts about the quality of that guy,” he said.
“He looks like he is skinny and not strong, but he is really, really strong. He is an outstanding young player. I think England has a diamond.”
City join Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur in the next round, qualifying as the only English side to have topped their group.
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