Pep Guardiola felt Manchester City learned a valuable lesson as they overcame an unexpected Wolves fightback to extend their run of successive wins to 21.
The Premier League leaders struck three times in the final 10 minutes at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday to run out convincing 4-1 victors.
Despite being outplayed for much of the game, Wolves had given themselves hope of an unlikely point when Conor Coady – with his side’s first effort on goal – equalised on the hour.
That forced City to rouse themselves for a late charge and manager Guardiola feels that will serve them well as they chase silverware on four fronts.
The City boss said: “We controlled it quite well, except for five minutes. We created chances.
“At 1-1 the players felt how unfair it was, after everything we had done, the first shot on target, but it is a good lesson for the knockout stages because opponents in a high level have good players up front, and they don’t need much to punish you.”
City took a deserved lead after 15 minutes when Leander Dendoncker turned into his own net attempting to prevent what seemed a certain goal for Raheem Sterling.
They thought they had doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time but Aymeric Laporte’s strike was disallowed in a very tight offside call.
They spurned further chances after the break and City were stunned when Wolves captain Coady stooped to guide in his first Premier League goal.
Gabriel Jesus got City back on track in the 80th minute and the Brazilian wrapped up the scoring with the final touch of the game after Riyad Mahrez had also netted.
Guardiola was pleased to see Jesus back on the scoresheet in what has been a difficult campaign for the 23-year-old due to form and fitness issues.
“You cannot imagine how happy we are, all of us, when he scores,” said Guardiola. “Strikers live for goals.
“But you can’t imagine how many things he does for the team that people don’t realise. Here he got two and he helped us with pressing and intensity.
“We know it’s not in the statistics and not in the highlights, but what he does is amazing.”
Mahrez also delivered an impressive performance, starting with the cross which led to the opening goal.
Guardiola said: “In the last games he’s been outstanding, he played really well. In every season you have good moments and bad moments but he has a special quality. He is a guy who dances on the pitch.
“He’s a fantastic player. It is incredible what he has done and hopefully he can continue this way.”
Wolves’ defeat ended their five-game unbeaten run but Coady felt the visitors could take lessons from the game.
The centre-back said: “We need to learn from what we’ve done because we were right in it, we were defending well, we got it to 1-1.
“We need to learn, we’re a young team, learning every week, every single day. We’ll look at where we’ve gone wrong – because it did go wrong, we conceded four goals, and we don’t want to do that.
“We’ll learn, improve and look forward to Saturday.”