Despite eventually beating Viktoria Plzen 4-2, Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini felt his side were not at their best on Wednesday night.
City twice gave up leads against the visiting Czechs before late goals from Alvaro Negredo and Edin Deko spared their blushes in a performance Pellegrini felt was well below par.
"I think we didn't play well," he told Sky Sports.
"Of all the matches we have played in the Premier League, Champions League, Capital One, all the games we have played Joe Hart has had the most work in the match, they had a lot of chances, they played well, but finally we won."
Pellegrini added that perhaps Plzen had a little more to play for as they chase third spot in Group D in order to gain qualification to the Europa League with City already through to the Champions League Round of 16.
"Motivation is very important and Plzen had that, as they fight for the Europa League and that was the difference, the intensity they put into it,” he added.
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