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Man City boss Manuel Pellegrini hails classy display that put PSG to sword in Champions League

By Andy Hampson

Published 13/04/2016

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini paid tribute to his team's stylish performance that secured a place in the Champions League semi-finals for the first time in the club's history.

City beat PSG 1-0 - and 3-2 on aggregate - despite Sergio Aguero missing a penalty.

Pellegrini, who is leaving the Etihad Stadium at the end of the season when he will be replaced by Pep Guardiola, said: "I'm very proud, not only because we won the game and we qualify for the semi-final but also because we played very well.

"We played in the style we wanted to - and I think we were the better team."

City's winner came from Kevin de Bruyne in the 76th minute.

Pellegrini added: "Kevin de Bruyne is a very important player for us.

"I am very satisfied. We didn't want to draw 0-0, we showed from the start we wanted to beat PSG," he said.

"We dominated the game from the beginning until the end.

"I trust my team so much, the penalty miss from Sergio Aguero was not the best moment.

"Once again, this team demonstrated the character and personality of a big team.

"I never understand the criticism we get. We beat Bayern Munich in my first season and lost against Barcelona in the round of 16.

"In the second season, we didn't play well but beat Bayern Munich again and Roma, then we lost to Barca again. This season we won the group and now we beat PSG.

"I really don't understand the criticism or they don't understand Barcelona have better players.

"Vincent Kompany (currently injured) is a very important player, we play better with him in the side. We have a squad that shows we have a great squad."

City go to Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday, currently fourth in the table.

"For me, now it is important to beat Chelsea and this club deserves to play in the Champions League," said Pellegrini.

De Bruyne felt City were worthy winners despite the narrow margin of victory.

He said: "It feels great. We played a very good game. PSG didn't create a lot and I think we deserved to go through.

"We are in the semi-finals, anything can happen.

"It will be tough but we are looking forward to it," he added.

It was De Bruyne's fourth goal in his last five matches.

He said: "In the first half I think we already deserved to be ahead but we knew the second half was going to be a tough game and I think we played the same, created some chances and it was good that we scored.

"We're in the semi-final now so anything can happen.

"We know it's going to be a tough one but PSG wasn't an easy one either, so we're looking forward to it and we'll be ready to play the semi-final."

Belfast Telegraph

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