Manchester City effectively killed off their UEFA Champions League hosts FC Basel after 23 minutes on Tuesday.
They flattened the Swiss champions with three quickfire goals on their way to a 4-0 away win.
Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva and Sergio Aguero scored within nine minutes of each other in the last 16 first leg tie.
They helped to almost certainly extend Basel’s wait for a first quarter-final appearance in the competition.
Gundogan curled in the fourth from the edge of the area in the 53rd minute as the runaway English Premier League leaders clocked up another emphatic win in their remarkable season.
Basel did their best to make a game of it and created several openings but looked vulnerable every time Manchester City attacked.
“To win 4-0 away in the last 16 is an amazing result, we are almost in the quarter-finals, but I am not saying we are already there, out of respect for Basel,” said Guardiola.
“We defended well and we were clinical – we had four chances and took them all.”
The scoreline gives the Swiss side little hope for the return leg at the Etihad on March 7.
As expected, Basel were starved of the ball as City enjoyed 69 percent possession and completed 754 of their 882 passes.
“For a Champions League game, we did ever so well,” said City captain Vincent Kompany after his first Champions League appearance this season.
“In these kinds of situations, it is about more than going through — if we have a draw at home that won’t give us a good feeling.”
Germany midfielder Gundogan gave Basel a masterclass in defensive midfield play, complementing his two-goal display by repeatedly snuffing out fledgling Swiss attacks.