Pep Guardiola's suggestion that drawing 1-1 at home to Liverpool was one of the most special days of his life could be explained by a sense of relief.
Managers hate going into a two-week international break on the back of a defeat, which in the Spaniard's case would have been the first time any team under him had lost six times in a league season.
Sergio Aguero's equalizer to James Milner's penalty meant City avoided that fate on Sunday. Losing would also have dropped it into fourth place below Liverpool, leading to a difficult build up to two critical games when the Premier League action resumes in April.
In four days, City has to play away to Arsenal and Chelsea. After that it still has to find a date to host the delayed Manchester derby against United.
"After our defeat in the Champions League (on Wednesday), for two days we were so, so sad and in the training sessions we didn't talk too much," Guardiola said. "You cannot imagine. It is one of the happiest days of my career as a manager. I am so proud," said the Spaniard, who won 21 trophies with Barcelona and Bayern Munich.