MANCHESTER City manager Pep Guardiola gave Burton Albion a glowing report after their Carabao Cup semi-final second leg, following an impressive performance from Nigel Clough’s squad.
After a hammering at the Etihad, City could only a muster a 1-0 victory against a battling Brewers side who carried the badge with pride.
Guardiola said: "After 9-0 they could play with a lack of desire, but it was completely the opposite. I think it is an incredible achievement to arrive for the semi-final of a competition. A big congratulations to them."
Burton entered the evening knowing a place at Wembley would be nothing short of miraculous yet matched their mighty Premier League opposition toe-for-toe all game.
City’s serial winner made the point of highlighting Liam Boyce’s relentless contribution, saying, "We know they link with the striker Boyce, who is a really good player. They were aggressive, they didn’t give up."
A completely full house at the Pirelli witnessed a frustrated away team who could only create a handful of chances. Guardiola recognised the difference from the first fixture for both teams, as he said: "In the first leg we were in a high level, that’s why we created a lot of chances. It is different playing at the Etihad than it is here (Pirelli)."
A dead rubber of a tie maybe, but Burton will feel hard done by not to have levelled on the night, seeing an effort cleared off the line. As responses come, they couldn’t have been delivered much better.
"I was curious as to see how Burton would react after starting the game 9-0," said Guardiola. "They have what professional players have to be, which is pride and not accept what happened in the first game and play like they are. They have to be so proud."
City’s boss appreciated the size of the stadium and his surroundings he is not typically acquainted too, mentioning, "I came from these stadiums; all our players came from these stadiums. It is not a problem."