Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini hailed the "character" of his side after they defeated Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 at the Etihad Stadium to progress to the semi-finals of the Champions League for the first time in their history. City beat the current French champions on home soil thanks to a late goal from summer signing Kevin de Bruyne.
The win meant City progressed 3-2 on aggregate and the Chilean boss subsequently lauded the performance of his team, who were without their inspirational skipper Vincent Kompany on the night. Pellegrini was especially pleased that his side were so committed to attacking their opponents, even though a goalless draw would have seen them progress.
"I am very satisfied, not only because we won the game and qualified for the semi-finals, but because we won in the style of play we want," the City boss told BT Sport. "We didn't want to draw 0-0, we showed from the start we wanted to beat PSG."
"Kevin de Bruyne is an important player for us, we deserved a goal before he scored. We dominated that game from the beginning until the end."
City squandered the opportunity to take the lead in the first-half when Sergio Aguero was fouled inside the box. The dynamic Argentine took the subsequent spotkick, but his low effort flashed wide of the post. However, Pellegrini was thrilled with the character his team showed in dealing with that setback.
"I trust my team so much, the penalty miss from Sergio Aguero was not the best moment. Once again, this team demonstrated the character and personality of a big team," the City manager reflected.
Meanwhile, Pellegrini also hit back at the criticism his team have received for their underwhelming results in the Champions League over recent years, pointing out that they have consistently faced some of the continent's most accomplished sides.
"I never understand the criticism we get," Pellegrini said. "We beat Bayern Munich in my first season and lost against Barcelona in the round-of-16. In the second season, we didn't play well but beat Bayern Munich again and Roma, then we lost to Barca again. This season we won the group and now we beat PSG. I really don't understand the criticism or they don't understand Barcelona have better players."