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'Perfect' Manchester City can still improve - Gundogan

'Perfect' Manchester City can still improve - Gundogan

Bernardo Silva insists Manchester City cannot be regarded as Champions League favourites despite making yet another powerful statement in Basel. Always on the move, always wanting the ball, and happy to play in the tightest spaces, now fit he is well up to speed with the Guardiola game.

The temperature had dropped below zero, but Ilkay Gündogan still managed to melt a few hearts after the final whistle here in Basle last night.

"I thought the pitch was a bit difficult, it was freezing out there", said Kompany while Guardiola described the pitch as "dangerous".

Gundogan broke the deadlock in the 14th minute, heading home Kevin de Bruyne's corner, before grabbing City's fourth goal and sealing the win with a sensational strike just after half-time.

City survived a couple of early scares as Basel forward Dimitri Oberlin went through on goal and then had a penalty appeal but the visitors soon took charge. Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva and Sergio Aguero scored by the 23rd minute before Gundogan added his second goal in the 53rd.

Chelsea's most memorable victory against Barca came in 2012, the last time the two sides faced off. With the teams locked at 1-1 on aggregate during the semifinal second leg, a John Terry red card looked to have dumped The Blues out of the competition.

"I'm not saying it's done because in football anything can happen, but it's an amazing result". The Premier League champions were dumped out of the EFL Cup in January and have suffered heavy defeats to Bournemouth and Watford in recent weeks, leading to speculation over the future of manager Antonio Conte.

Chelsea legend Frank Lampard hailed Gundogan following his goalscoring heroics in the round of 16 tie.

"In these kinds of situations, it is about more than going through - if we have a draw at home that won't give us a good feeling".

Guardiola also paid tribute to Gundogan, who might even have claimed a hat-trick had Tomas Vaclik not saved from him in the closing stages.

Speaking after the game in Switzerland and assessing a varied schedule to come, he said: "It's so important".

"If we are able to go to the quarter-finals we will do better than last season and that is the first step". Yes, Chelsea were very fortunate in that run, with a smash and grab job in the Camp Nou and Petr Cech & Didier Drogba heroics in the final, but who's to say the current squad can't produce performances of that ilk once again?

Aguero came into the match with 13 goals from 10 games in 2018 - four coming in one half against Leicester in the Premier League on Saturday - and naturally he got involved in the scoring.

"I know the way is hard but we're working a lot to try to end the dominance of those three clubs".