Pep Guardiola hailed one of the greatest days of his career despite seeing Manchester City claim only a draw in a pulsating clash with Liverpool.
An incident-packed Premier League clash between two top-four rivals ended with honours even at the Etihad Stadium yesterday after Sergio Aguero cancelled out a James Milner penalty.
Both sides spurned gilt-edged chances to win a classic encounter, with Adam Lallana miskicking in front of a near-open goal late on and Aguero twice missing the target in the dying minutes.
That came after several other near misses, including Kevin De Bruyne hitting the post, and a number of controversially-rejected penalty appeals at each end.
Either team could live to rue the points dropped in the Champions League qualification race but, in the light of Wednesday's disappointing exit from this season's European competition, Guardiola seemed thrilled by City's display.
The boss, a winner of 21 trophies with Barcelona and Bayern Munich, said: "This is one of the happiest days of my career as a manager.
"After our defeat in the Champions League, for two days we were so, so sad and in the training sessions we didn't talk too much.
"That is why I am so, so happy. They put absolutely everything that they had on the pitch."
Guardiola did accept, however, that his team were not clinical enough in front of goal.
The Spaniard said: "We had the clear chances but we cannot score goals again, and that's why you cannot compete with the top teams. To achieve the big targets you have to be clinical."
Liverpool could also point to a number of wasted opportunities themselves, not least Lallana's miss.
The England international was unmarked in front of goal when he was picked out by Roberto Firmino but he failed to connect with the ball.
Jurgen Klopp revealed Lallana later said sorry for the blunder but the Liverpool manager refused to blame the forward.
Klopp said: "He's one of the best, if not the best, player technically I ever worked with. If he can't (score), I thought it was because he worked so hard before.
"After the game Adam said immediately to me 'sorry', and I thought, 'Why?' Now I know why he thought he had to say sorry but he doesn't have to because his performance was outstanding."