Pellegrini relieved by qualification
Manuel Pellegrini expressed his relief for Manchester City after his side qualified for the Champions League knockout stages with a 5-2 win over CSKA Moscow on Tuesday.
Alvaro Negredo's hat-trick and a brace from Sergio Aguero moved City six points clear of third-placed CSKA Moscow and into the round of 16 alongside group leaders Bayern Munich.
• Brewin: Three things
After City failed to progress past the group stage in the last two seasons, Pellegrini believes the result completed one of his major objectives, although he lamented the two goals conceded.
"It's the first step but it's an important step because we couldn't do this over the last two years," he said. "So our first target this year was to qualify for the last 16 and tonight we achieved that.
"I always want to score the most amount of goals, that's very important. They didn't have too many chances to score two goals and we scored five and we had a lot more chances too. I prefer to score a lot of goals but I also ask we try not to concede a lot of goals and today we did."
City midfielder Yaya Toure praised the home fans for their support and insists they sent a message to the CSKA fans, who allegedly hurled racial abuse towards the Ivorian on matchday 3.
"It's amazing, I think it's deserved by the club. We go through to the second round for the first time and it's unbelievable," Toure told Sky Sports. "I thought we played amazingly well today and we have to say thank you to the fans as well.
"They showed to the fans of CSKA how supportive our fans are. It was very nice to win today, it was very fantastic. We are happy with the win today and I think today is a special day for the fans and for the club as well."
Information from the Press Association was used in this report.