Kevin De Bruyne felt Erling Haaland underscored his class by scoring the goal that sent Manchester City into their third straight Champions League semifinals.
Haaland scored his 48th goal in a remarkable season as City held Bayern Munich to a 1-1 draw on Wednesday to go through 4-1 on aggregate.
City had their fate in their grip after last week’s stunning first-leg win but they had to endure significant pressure at the Allianz Arena before Haaland’s 57th-minute strike decided matters.
De Bruyne felt Haaland showed great character to end a quick counter-attack that had been missed from the penalty spot earlier in the game.
The Belgian said: “Knowing him, he won’t be happy about missing the penalty but then it’s over.
“If you have another chance, you have to go again. He had the opportunity, finished it with class and helps us win games.”
Bayern kept fighting, clawing back a goal late after a controversial Joshua Kimmich penalty, but the result was not in doubt.
Such was the frustration of the home side that manager Thomas Tuchel was sent off in the closing minutes for complaining about referee Clement Turpin’s decisions.
City now meet Real Madrid in the semi-finals in a repeat of last year’s encounter, won by the Spanish side in dramatic circumstances.
Midfielder Bernardo Silva has already spoken confidently of avenging the loss but De Bruyne insists that doesn’t motivate him.
He said, “I’m not that person. What happened last year happened. We played really well in the two games and the last five minutes changed the course (of the draw).
“You have to take it by the chin and move on. It happened and that doesn’t mean we didn’t play well in most of the two games. Football is about details and it happens and you move on.”
City travel to the Spanish capital on May 9 before hosting the reigning champions the following week.
Before that, however, they have other pressing matters with the FA Cup semi-final against Sheffield United on Saturday, followed by a hard-hitting Premier League clash with Arsenal four days later.
“There will be a quick turnaround,” said De Bruyne. “The schedule is what it is. It’s very difficult for us, but it’s a privilege to play in all these semi-finals.
“A lot of people want to be in our position. We are proud, but we have to keep going.”
A downside for City was defender Nathan Ake suffering a hamstring injury before being substituted off in the second half. He should be examined after the team’s return to Manchester.