Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini insists the Champions League last 16 tie against Dynamo Kiev remains in the balance despite his side scoring three away goals to leave the Ukrainian capital with a healthy first leg advantage. Sergio Aguero and David Silva netted in the first half before a superb late strike from Yaya Toure crowned a fine performance.
City had been dumped out by Barcelona in each of their previous two forays in the knock-out stage of Europe's premier club competition but are now on the brink of a first appearance in the quarter-finals after a terrific away display. Victory comes three days after Pellegrini named a weakened team in the FA Cup fifth round against Chelsea but the Chilean's selection policy paid off.
"I am very happy because it is a very good result," the City boss told BT Sport. "It is not finished, we have to play the second leg at home but to play away and a second-two difference is a good result. I think the team played very well, we missed a lot of chances. When they scored to go 2-1 maybe we have some moments of doubt but after that we recover the ball and finally we score the third goal.
"We press very well because we know this is a team that likes a short build-up but we press really well, we recover the ball in their half most of the time and we could score goals and at least in the first half we had more chances. It is important that you don't think that it is all finished but of course that third goal gives us a little bit more confidence for the second leg.
"It is important in the Champions League to improve every year. I said before the game that we were very unlucky to play against Barcelona in the round of 16. Now against Dynamo I hope we can go one stage more and into the quarter-final. With best eight teams in Europe anything can happen."
Midfielder Fernando was the only survivor from the City team that were thumped 5-1 by Chelsea and Pellegrini is set to stick with the same team from Kiev for the Capital One Cup final against Liverpool on Sunday [27 February]. Pellegrini said he will likely have the same squad to choose from come the showcase final at Wembley but could be boosted by the return of some of his injured stars.
"Unfortunately for us we have just 13 players," he added. "On the bench we had four defenders and two young players Kelechi [Iheanacho] and Manu Garcia. It is important for the return of the important players but it is important also to have a squad that you can make some changes and in this moment it is difficult, especially in attacking but I hope that in the next week a couple of players will return.
"From tomorrow we are going to think about the Capital One [Cup] Final [against Liverpool]. It is very important to win a trophy at this moment in the season and after that we must return to the Premier League where we have to fight for another 36 points so we have a lot of things to do."