Joe Hart believes Manchester City have found a “simple” solution after progressing to the last 16 of the Champions League.
City have qualified for the group stage each year since 2011-12 but have found competing in Europe a tougher task compared to their domestic dominance.
However, after securing qualification to the knockout round with a confident 3-1 win over Sevilla on Tuesday, City and England goalkeeper Hart believes the club have finally downed their Champions League demons.
“I think we managed to do that against a really confident Sevilla side, who play with a lot of attacking intent,” he said.
“I think we set ourselves up well, we controlled the game, we defended well and took our chances well.
“It’s pretty simple, but sometimes we’ve not played to that game plan. We’ve been a little reckless. I think Vinny [Vincent Kompany, City’s captain] has said a few times that we’ve been a little bit naive and been caught out, but we were really solid.
“When we’re balanced like that, I think that’s when we play our best football. When we beat Chelsea, we were very balanced, and against Newcastle, so that’s definitely something we have this year which we didn’t have last year.”
City have secured their place in the next stage of the competition with two games still to play in Group D and are now focused on securing top spot, to improve their chances of avoiding another elite team.