Manuel Pellegrini feels he's decision to field a weakened side against Chelsea in the FA Cup proved crucial in their impressive 3-1 Champions League victory over Dynamo Kiev on Wednesday night.
The Chilean boss faced criticism from media and former players for his selection of inexperienced academy players when City were thrashed 5-1 by the Blues on Saturday, but after their 3-1 win in Kiev, Pellegrini insists it was the right decision to prioritize the European fixture over the FA Cup.
First-half goals from Sergio Aguero and David Silva put the Citizens in firm control of the tie, and Yaya Toure wrapped up an impressive victory adding a third – all three players in question were rested against the English Premiership champions in midweek.
"In this profession you always get criticism when you don't win, but I think it's important to take the right decision and think about a lot of things, about why you take this decision," the former Real Madrid boss said after the game.
"I always try to respect the competition. But in this case, having just 13 players, it was a key decision to rest the team that day.
"Unfortunately we could not continue in the FA Cup, but I think it was important for the way we had to play this game [against Dynamo], with a lot of intensity."
The victory over the Ukrainian Champions leaves The Sky Blues poised for their first Champions League quarter-final appearance, and the 62-year old is delighted after being knocked out of the last-16 by Barcelona for the past two seasons.
"Each season we improve a little bit more," he added.
"The last two seasons we qualified for the last 16 and this season we made the important progress of winning the group, which was an improvement from last season.
"We now have the chance to arrive at the next stage and it's important if you can be among the best eight teams in Europe," he concluded.