Steven Defour recognised Manchester City as one of the best sides he’s ever faced in his career following the Clarets’ heavy FA Cup defeat.
The visitors were beaten comprehensively at the Etihad Stadium with Gabriel Jesus, Bernardo Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, a Kevin Long own goal and Sergio Aguero settling the fourth round tie.
Pep Guardiola’s men were in complete control from the first whistle even with their record goalscorer, who scored the fifth and final goal from the spot, starting on the bench alongside the likes of Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling and David Silva.
Defour has gone up against the likes of PSG, Atletico Madrid, Napoli in the Champions League during his time at Porto and Borussia Dortmund in the same competition while at Anderlecht.
Asked if this version of City is among the best he’s competed with, the 30-year-old said: “I think so, yes. When you see their style of play, they’re always like that.
“Even when it’s not working out for a few minutes they just keep on doing it. Sometimes they can be sloppy with the ball but they just keep on attacking you, they have options.
“They just wait for you, they’re trying to get you tired and then they still have Sane, Sterling and Aguero on the bench. They can afford to do that.”
Defour pinpointed Matej Vydra’s missed opportunity at the start of the second half as the turning point in the game as the Czech striker missed the target when one-on-one with Ederson with the hosts leading 1-0.
The away side’s failure to equalise in that moment went on to be punished just minutes later as Silva doubled the advantage.
“After Vydra’s chance, just five minutes later, they made it 2-0 and that broke us a little bit,” he said.
“We tried to press, to get more spaces available, and they took advantage of it. City are the type of team that won’t stop scoring goals and that’s what they’ve done today.
“Against Man City, when you get a chance, one v one with the goalkeeper, if you miss those then you’re not going to get more of them.
“It was at the start of the second half and it was perfect, it would have given us more confidence and made them stressed. We could have had more opportunities but it wasn’t to be.
“An equaliser gives you that belief, you can get further up the pitch, they get nervous and maybe then you get more chances. Unfortunately it didn’t work like that.”