Manchester City may be toiling domestically at the moment but they produced a superb European away performance to beat Dynamo Kiev 3-1 in Ukraine in their Champions League last 16, first leg on Wednesday.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side did enough to win the game in the first half with Sergio Aguero and David Silva both scoring to underline their importance to City.
Dynamo pulled a goal back in the second half through midfielder Vitaliy Buyalskiy, but Yaya Toure’s late beauty ensured that City are very much on course to reach the quarter-finals for the first time in their history.
“It was an exceptional result away from home. We couldn’t have hoped for better,” City captain Vincent Kompany told BT Sport.
“The performance was good and 3-1 is a good result. We’re happy with it, we just don’t want to get carried away with it.
“We could have scored many more goals. It was a Man City performance that we’d like to see more often.”
They have been eliminated by Barcelona at this stage in each of the last two seasons but this was a far kinder draw for City against opponents who were playing their first competitive match since December due to the Ukrainian winter break.
“We made lots of mistakes in the middle of the pitch and with this team of Manchester City it’s not acceptable,” said Dynamo coach Sergiy Rebrov, who denied the long period without a competitive game had been a factor.
Pellegrini, meanwhile, had complained of not having enough time to prepare his team for this encounter.
He named a fringe side containing numerous untested youngsters for Sunday’s 5-1 FA Cup fifth-round defeat to Chelsea but his starting XI in the Olympic Stadium was back to full strength, with Fernando the only player to keep his place.
With Joe Hart, Kompany, Toure, Silva and Aguero in the side, City are a different proposition and, after three consecutive defeats, they looked in the mood here.
There was an early fright when an Andriy Yarmolenko cross was parried by Hart only for the ball to drop down onto the bar, but the visitors played with a degree of hunger and intensity not seen in recent weeks.
They were rewarded with the opening goal a quarter of an hour in, as a Silva corner from the left was headed down by Toure for Aguero, who controlled before lashing in his 19th goal of the season.