Joe Hart accepted that Manchester City were far from their best in the last-gasp 2-1 Champions League win at Borussia Monchengladbach.
But for a string of superb saves from England goalkeeper Hart – including thwarting Raffael from the penalty spot – City would have been behind long before Lars Stindl’s stylish 54th-minute opener.
Nicolas Otamendi rifled home a deflected equaliser – his first goal since joining City from Valencia last month – before his fellow Argentina international Sergio Aguero put a chastening night of missed chances behind him to win and convert a 90th-minute spot kick.
City headed into this tale of two penalties on the back of Premier League defeats to West Ham and Tottenham and Hart, who missed the latter 4-1 loss due to a minor back complaint, believes there is plenty of work to be done for Manuel Pellegrini’s team to rediscover their sparkling early season form.
“We didn’t play well today, we were really disjointed,” he told BT Sport. “We have been in the past couple of games in the Premier League that we’ve lost – we’ve had a good half and a bad half and we’ve done that today.
“I still think we deserved to win. I think they made me work from more of their chances but we still had some really good chances.
“We took it late. Kun [Aguero] is a cool guy.”
Hart was quick to praise the performance of Monchengladbach who, like City, headed into the contest having lost their opening Group D game.
But he observed that a relentless effort from Andre Schubert’s side left the home side exposed during the closing stages.
“They’ve got some good movement,” Hart said. “Kevin [De Bruyne] warned us about them. They’re a very fit team.
“If anything they worked themselves into the ground and we profited when they were a little bit tired at the end – they made a few mistakes and we kept our quality.”
On his own heroics, Hart shared the plaudits with City’s analysis department for their research on Raffael.
“We work hard – no stone is unturned with us,” he added. “I’ve seen a lot of penalties from a lot of players and this one I was ready for.”