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Nasri, Pellegrini delighted as City pull off 'miracle'

The message from the Manchester City FC dressing room was what does not kill you makes you stronger after they completed their recovery to advance at AS Roma's expense.

Manchester City celebrate victory at Roma
Manchester City celebrate victory at Roma ©Getty Images

Manchester City win at Roma to claim second place in Group E
Victorious Manuel Pellegrini says "trust has been the key"
Samir Nasri says he always believed City could pull off "kind of miracle"
Rudi Garcia points to Roma's lack of experience and cutting edge
Round of 16 draw takes place in Nyon at 12.00CET on 15 December

Samir Nasri, Manchester City midfielder
It was really important to win because our target at the start of the season was to qualify from the group stage. I think we did it the hard way and it's a kind of a miracle as well, considering where we were after four games when we had two points – I don't recall any team in the Champions League who had two points after four games and qualified.

In the dressing room [at half-time] the manager told us to remain calm and patient – we're going to get the result. I don't strike on goal really often to be honest. I wanted to play a pass to James Milner and they anticipated it a little bit so I had a little space open up, took it and, lucky me, it went straight in.

I've no idea [how far we can go]. Last year we were great, but in February we had a couple of major players out injured and you never know what can happen in February. If everyone is at their best, we have a good chance because we have more Champions League experience; we know we can perform against big teams and now we know we can get a result away from home so why not?

Milner hails City character

James Milner, Manchester City midfielder
The Champions League campaign didn't get off to the best of starts, the draw wasn't kind to us again but we didn't perform the way we can. We put ourselves into a bit of a situation, but we managed to get out of that and qualify and that's the main thing. This team needs to be in the latter stages of the Champions League and we're delighted to be there.

We'll take it step by step, but I definitely think the quality's there to go far in this competition. This team responds when we need to win games. We did it to win the Premier League and we've done it again in the Champions League to win these two. Obviously we needed a bit of help in the other game tonight, but to beat Bayern and Roma, and to do it with a number of injuries, shows you what quality there is in the squad.

Adem Ljajić, Roma forward
We created plenty of chances, some big ones, but didn't score. When you don't score then your opponents get a chance and we knew that Man City were a team who could take their chances. All our games were good, apart from the one at home to Bayern but, in the end, we've not made it. Nobody would have imagined that we would have got here still playing to go through.

Francesco Totti attempts to find a gap
Francesco Totti attempts to find a gap©AFP/Getty Images

We need to lift our heads immediately and get back to winning ways on Sunday. If we do well in the league, then we'll be back. Now we've got the Europa League and it's an important competition and a great one to be involved in.

Radja Nainggolan, Roma midfielder
In the first half, we played good football and created chances. Losing this way really hurts. Until their goal, only we had created chances. This shows that we looked to win the game at all costs and we put in so much effort in the first half and this also contributed to the defeat. They have players who can score from one second to another.

We weren't lucky with [Kostas] Manolas hitting the post, also [José] Holebas and Gervinho went close. There were so many chances wasted. Now our aim is to win the league and we've got to do that at all costs. We're also in the Europa League and we'll look to go as far as possible. We're still in the hunt for three titles.

Manuel Pellegrini, Manchester City manager
Trust was key. Against Roma in Manchester, we played our worst game of the season and we got a draw. But tonight we played the way we did in recent weeks, as we did against Bayern, and we got a deserved win.

Samir Nasri celebrates his opener on the hour
Samir Nasri celebrates his opener on the hour©Getty Images

The better team won; Roma are a very good team and played very well too, but we put in our normal performance, pressed and used the ball well. We are a solid team, we're recovering the ball in the correct way. I had a lot of trust in what we could do. This team deserves more credit.

Rudi Garcia, Roma coach
We were lacking experience tonight and were unlucky too. In the first 15 minutes we had some good chances but didn't convert them into even one goal. City were more efficient; that's what a big team has to be.

We know how difficult getting to the round of 16 was; this was the most difficult group. We needed something amazing and didn't get that. City didn't start this competition well, but they improved a lot. Tonight they showed how strong they are, even without some key players.

If we want to play in this competition in the future – and we want to be in the UEFA Champions League every year – we have to be concentrated in Serie A. At the end of the winter we will play in the UEFA Europa League: it's an important competition and we'll try to use it to find the experience we need.

We're building a team to be as close as possible to the biggest clubs. I'm proud about what we've done since I've been here; tonight we lost the first final of the season but I'm sure we will have other matches like this and we will be ready for them.