Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola admitted that handing a debut to 17-year-old Phil Foden represented a ‘special night’ for the club.
The Sky Blues beat Feyenoord 1-0 as Raheem Sterling struck a late winner to help City secure top spot in Champions League Group F.
The England international clipped home his 11th goal of the season after 88 minutes at the Etihad Stadium to extend City’s club-record winning run to 17 matches in all competitions.
Pep Guardiola made seven changes for the match, although he resisted calls to hand starts to highly-rated youngsters Phil Foden and Brahim Diaz, preferring instead to play them off the bench late on.
“It was so difficult, so complicated to find the space. Sometimes it happens,” Guardiola told BT Sport.
“The second half was much, much better. We had chances and we were able to win and we are top of the group. We are happy.
“We respect the competition, we respect Shakhtar and we respect Napoli. We have a lot of games, we will see what team we can play in the final game. Who knows what can happen.
“Today is a special day for all of the club, the academy have worked so hard for the last couple of years and we had Phil Foden and Brahim Diaz on in the end.
“They feel what it means to play in front of these fans. It depends on Phil now – he knows the club, he has to be calm, work every day. He knows that we trust him.”