Piraeus (Greece) (AFP) – Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola paid tribute to Diego Maradona’s legacy to football after seeing his side earn a place in the last 16 of the Champions League with a 1-0 win at Olympiakos on Wednesday.
Maradona, whose daughter Gianinna was previously married to City striker Sergio Aguero, died at the age of 60 on Wednesday.
Regarded as one of the greatest players ever, the pinnacle of Maradona’s career came in guiding Argentina to win the 1986 World Cup.
“First of all support for Sergio, because Diego was his son’s grandfather,” said Guardiola.
“There was a banner in Argentina one time I read years ago, it said: ‘It doesn’t matter what you have done with your life, it matters what you have done with our lives.’
“There are a few incredible players in all of history, he is one of them. For people of our generation, the World Cup in ’86 in Mexico was something which made this sport better.”
Aguero made a late appearance as a substitute in Piraeus and City missed the killer touch of their all-time top goalscorer with a one-goal margin of victory scant reward for the visitors’ dominance.
Guardiola made five changes to the team beaten 2-0 at Tottenham on Saturday that left City with their worst league start since the first few months of the club’s Abu Dhabi-backed ownership.
Scoring goals has been City’s big problem in the Premier League and Gabriel Jesus, Joao Cancelo, Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva were all guilty of passing up huge chances among City’s 21 efforts on goal.
“It will come, we would love to do more, but one day it will come and will break everything,” added Guardiola, whose side now just need a point from their final two matches to top Group C.
“We played really well in all departments. We are already in the next round, now we can focus on the Premier League and the other competitions.”
Foden showed his more experienced teammates how it should be done when he drilled home Raheem Sterling’s lovely backheel nine minutes before half-time for his fourth goal of the season.
Chances continued to come and go for City after the break, but one goal was enough as Olympiakos failed to muster a single shot on target, complicating their chances of reaching the knockout stages.
The Greek champions trail second-placed Porto, who travel to Marseille later on Wednesday, by three points.
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