Man City on a par with Barca, Real: Sarri

Oct 17, 2017 - 11:52 PM Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri has said Manchester City are now at the same level as Barcelona and Real Madrid and can go on to win the Champions League this season.

City delivered a blistering 20 minutes of attacking football to take a two-goal lead over Napoli at the Etihad Stadium.

They rode out the storm to win 2-1 after the Italians -- who have begun the Serie A with eight consecutive victories -- battled back in the second half.

Asked after the game if he felt City were now on a level with the Spanish giants and were capable of winning the tournament, Sarri said: "Yes, I think so.

"They are an extraordinary squad. They have tremendous physical, technical and tactical qualities and if they can maintain their physical shape they could go all the way."

City top Group F with the maximum nine points from three games and lead the Premier League with seven wins from eight matches.

Pep Guardiola's side are now unbeaten in 18 games in all competitions, 14 of them wins.

Goals from Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus in the opening 13 minutes got City off to a flyer.

Napoli hit back strongly with Dries Mertens having a first-half penalty saved before Amadou Diawara did score from the spot in the second half.

Guardiola said the win had come against high class opposition.

"They are one of the best sides I have faced as a coach so I am so, so happy to have won this game," he said.

"They are one of the best teams I think in Europe.

"Today we beat an incredible team and we had to give an incredible performance to do that so I am very happy."

Despite the defeat Sarri said he was pleased with his team's response after going two-goals down.

"They (Manchester City) deserve a lot of credit for how they started the game -- their technique, speed, movement were outstanding -- but also, we didn't apply enough pressure," he said.

"But credit to the team for coming out of that situation against a team that is destroying everything that is put in front of it."

Source: AAP

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