Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola told Bristol City manager Lee Johnson that they played "better than the majority of Premier League teams" after the Sky Blues narrowly defeated the Robins 2-1 in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg.
Bristol City took the lead just before half-time after Bobby Reid's penalty, but the Citizens responded with a brilliant team goal finished off by Kevin De Bruyne before Sergio Aguero came off the bench to seal the win with a header in added time.
Lee Johnson (Bristol City manager): "Pep Guardiola said to me that we played better than most of the Premier League teams that come to Man City."— City Watch (@City_Watch) January 9, 2018
As quoted by the Mirror in his post-match press conference, Guardiola said: "All credit to Bristol. You can't knock out four teams from the Premier League without being well-organised and having nice players.
"It will be tough in Bristol. We lived that against Huddersfield last season, against Wolves, and if we go to Cardiff [in the FA Cup] it will be so tough.
"The Championship is probably the hardest second division in the world because there are 46 matches and play-offs later, so I have a lot of respect. It's why there are a lot of shocks in the cups."
Guardiola was also full of praise for his match winner Aguero, who the Spaniard will have to rely on far more after Gabriel Jesus' serious knee injury.
"With Gabriel Jesus not being fit, we have to protect him a bit. Sergio is on fire, scoring goals again, but always in his career he scores goals. But we create chances.
"We were there a lot if you analyse how many times we shoot, and hopefully in the second leg we can score more goals."
Manchester City will travel to Ashton Gate in a fortnight for the second leg, and although they may have a slender advantage, their manager will be hoping for a far more convincing display against the valiant Championship side.