Champions League: Man City must win group - Vincent Kompany

Manchester City: Very important to win group - Manuel Pellegrini

Captain Vincent Kompany said it was "important" for Manchester City to win their Champions League group after they secured a place in the knockout stages.

City reached the last 16, where they have lost to Barcelona for the past two years, with a 3-1 win at Sevilla.

Winning Group D would mean they face the runners-up from another pool.

"It's an incredible achievement to have qualified with two games still to go," said Kompany. "Now we go on - we need to make sure we end as group winners."

Raheem Sterling, Fernandinho and Wilfried Bony scored as City won a third successive Champions League match.

City's recent Champions League seasons
2014-15Knocked out of the last 16 by Barcelona Lost 3-1 on aggregate
2013-14Knocked out of the last 16 by Barcelona Lost 4-1 on aggregate
2012-13Eliminated after the group stageFinished fourth behind Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid and Ajax
2011-12Eliminated after the group stageFinished third behind Bayern Munich and Napoli

Victory for the Premier League leaders, coupled with Juventus's 1-1 draw at Borussia Monchengladbach in the group's other game, means they have reached the knockout stage in record time.

Manuel Pellegrini's side qualified for the last 16 after five games in 2013-14, then by beating Roma in their final group game last season.

Finishing as runners-up in their group saw them drawn against Spanish giants Barca.

But City are guaranteed to win their group this season if they beat Italian champions Juve and German side Monchengladbach in their final two matches.

"It's important for us to finish first in our group because we've been unlucky with draws before," said Kompany.

'Our best Champions League performance'

City produced a devastating attacking display against Sevilla, with Sterling and Fernandinho giving them a 2-0 lead after just 11 minutes.

Europa League champions Sevilla pulled a goal back after 25 minutes, only for Bony to restore the two-goal advantage before the break.

The Blues used the pace of Sterling and Jesus Navas, along with the power of Fernandinho and Yaya Toure, to break quickly.

"Our game plan was perfect," said Kompany.

"We defended solidly, won our aerial battles and were spot on all over the pitch. This was probably the best performance we've given in the Champions League so far."

Pellegrini added: "I'm very happy because I think we played a very complete game in all senses - physically and tactically, and we had good possession of the ball.

"We scored three goals and I think we missed at least four or five clear chances to score more."

Fernandinho 'very dangerous'

Man City
The average position of Fernandinho (25) illustrates his more advanced role

City boss Pellegrini sprang a surprise by dropping £55m summer signing Kevin de Bruyne, arguably City's best performer in recent weeks, to the bench.

Brazilian midfielder Fernando came in, allowing compatriot Fernandinho to push further forward alongside Toure.

"I allowed him and Yaya to go forward so they started more in the Sevilla half," said Pellegrini.

"I think Fernandinho is very dangerous because he has a lot of pace and he arrives in the other box. It was one of the reasons we dominated in midfield because we had Fernandinho and Yaya both going forward and just Fernando staying back.

"He and Sterling had a very good performance, as did all the players."

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