Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola refused to conceal the gravity of his side’s victory after English football’s top-flight pacesetters took a giant stride towards the Champions League knockout stage by dispatching Napoli.
Prolific striking duo Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus netted early goals for the hosts, and while Amadou Diawara replied with a second-half penalty for Serie A leaders Napoli, City claimed the points to tighten their grip on top spot in Group F.
“Napoli are one of the best teams that I have faced in my career, maybe the best,” said Guardiola. “I am really impressed with how they play. They are an exceptional team and that is why I am so, so happy for the quality of our play.
“The situation ]in the group] is that we go to the next game and try to win that. We are close but it is not already done. We need one more victory to qualify.”
City made a blistering start and could scent the win inside the opening quarter of an hour as Sterling tucked a rebound beyond former Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina after Kyle Walker’s shot had been blocked.
Jesus doubled City’s lead, tapping home another scintillating Kevin de Bruyne pass, but they were indebted to Ederson who saved a Dries Mertens penalty, only for Diawara to slot a second spot-kick beyond the Brazilian in the 73rd minute.