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City beats Barca, sweet win for Guardiola

Press AssociationPress Association 1/11/2016 By Phil Medlicott, Press Association Sport

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola feels the belief that will be taken from the 3-1 win over Barcelona will be vital for the club.

Guardiola's men produced a brilliant comeback in the Champions League Group C encounter at the Etihad Stadium after falling behind to Lionel Messi's opener.

An Ilkay Gundogan brace and Kevin De Bruyne's superb free-kick steered them to victory.

City were beaten 4-0 at the Nou Camp two weeks ago, and had lost each of their four other meetings with Barcelona prior to that.

The result leaves the second-placed Blues on seven points from four group games, two points behind leaders Barca and three clear of third-placed Borussia Monchengladbach.

And Guardiola said: "Considering our situation - how short a time we have been together, having never beaten the best team in world, and our position in the group - our victory today is so important.

"Now we have one more game to win to go in February (to the last 16), and hopefully then it will be good, or better, to keep us going.

"This club was for many years out of Europe, while these kind of clubs like Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich were playing every year.

"We need time, and I know people don't have time, but I think the club will give us time.

"And maybe today is a good step. Now we realise 'wow, we won against the best team, so we are able to do that'.

"For the future generations, for new players coming in the future, they are going to realise 'these guys were able to beat the best team, and we have to do it again'.

"That is the process, especially in the Champions League.

"It is the same when the group of Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany and those kind of players won the Premier League two times - so the people who come now know, they understand they have to try to do that."

Guardiola was delighted with what his team had produced from the moment they equalised six minutes before half-time, but insisted he took no additional pleasure from the fact the win had come against his old club.

"I am happy for City. I have played against Barca before. I am just very happy we got three points," he said.

"I learned some things about my players tonight, how we can play on the counter-attack, something we can use as a weapon in the future perhaps.

"But I am not more happy because we have beaten a club I love so much."

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