Undefeated Manchester City felt the sharp end of Pep Guardiola's tongue after letting their standards slip against Feyenoord, according to Yaya Toure.
With qualification to the Champions League knockout stages already secure, Guardiola made seven changes to his starting line-up for the visit of the faltering Eredivisie holders and a patchy, listless contest was drifting towards a goalless conclusion before Raheem Sterling expertly dispatched his 11th goal of the season two minutes from time.
That made it five wins out of five in Europe this term, securing top spot in Group F in the process, while City have taken a remarkable 34 points from the 36 on offer in the Premier League.
Speaking after Saturday's considerably more impressive 2-0 win at Leicester, Guardiola said he would "kill" his players if they became complacent and strong words were dished out in the aftermath of Tuesday's match at the Etihad Stadium.
"It's human nature that sometimes you are a little bit lazy, think you're super or arrogance can go in your head - especially when you are young," said veteran midfielder Toure, following only his third start of the campaign.
"You look beautiful and think you're going to be the best. But you have to be careful because a modest team like Feyenoord, you see they came in and maybe could have surprised us.
"At the end the manager was quite angry with the team, of course. We can do better than that.
"We could have scored [more] because we had chances. We played lazily. You have to focus and respect the opponent."
Post-game irritation from Guardiola or Toure's own frank assessment is unlikely to shift the perception that City are better placed to make a far more convincing bid for Champions League glory than at any other time over their previous six seasons in the competitions.
"I have to stay positive. We are in good form," said the 35-year-old, a winner under Guardiola with Barcelona in the 2009 final.
"When you see all the top teams, they all struggle a little bit. When I see Juventus, or Madrid, Barcelona - all these kind of teams - we've got to be a stronger and better team.
"Statistics mean nothing. We have to play against them and see where we are."
Under Manuel Pellegrini, City were knocked out in back-to-back seasons by Barcelona after drawing the Liga giants in the last 16.
It is a fate they will avoid this time around as fellow group winners, although this week's results mean Real Madrid and likely Bayern Munich too will progress as second-place finishers - making them, along with Juventus, potential heavyweight opponents for Guardiola's men in the new year.
Toure is confident his colleagues are a match for all-comers but added with a chuckle: "No, I don't want these teams now. Further, further! If all the top teams finish first then it is good."
|Everton were like United at Liverpool - Allardyce defends Anfield approach|
|Paulo Bento hired as Chongqing Lifan head coach|
|Ramsey hamstring injury ´not a big one´|
|Watford´s Zeegelaar gets three-match ban as appeal is rejected|
|Matthaus raves about Spurs star Kane|
|´Several clubs´ discussing Arda move as Barca exit nears|
|No ultimatum as Arsenal´s Ozil and Sanchez talks rumble on|
|Su-Mourinho? Wenger offers advice to City and United|
|Bayern planning ´serious talks´ with Robben, Ribery|
|Pereira replaces Villas-Boas at Shanghai SIPG|
|Van Gaal rejected Leverkusen to hold out for a ´big club´|
|Inzaghi and Lazio left feeling ´defrauded´ after Torino defeat|
|Man United more boring under Mourinho, claims Van Gaal|
|Zidane: Real Madrid want to win Club World Cup|
|Morata ruled out of Huddersfield trip due to ´impossible´ workload|
|Valverde singles out Hazard & Morata as chief Chelsea threats|
|Lazio 1 Torino 3: Inzaghi´s men lose ground as Immobile sees red|
|Reading 2 Cardiff City 2: Late comeback makes light of Warnock dismissal|
|Wagner received no contact over Borussia Dortmund job|
|A Mourinho myth? Man United booked for simulation more than any Premier League side|
|Ronaldo´s ego is his biggest motivator - Valdano|
|Bayern threaten legal action over Leno transfer rumours|
|Potter delighted by underdog Ostersunds´ trip to Arsenal|
|Chelsea can bounce back from West Ham loss, says Conte|
|Real Madrid will relish PSG test, says Xabi Alonso|
|Conte urges Chelsea to be ´positive´ over Barca Champions League draw|
|Heynckes wary of Besiktas threat|
|Ostersunds handed fairytale Arsenal tie, Napoli face Leipzig|
|Emery: PSG ´can compete with Real Madrid´|
|Totti urges Roma focus on Serie A despite encouraging Champions League draw|
|Europa League: Last 32 draw in full|
|Messi faces toughest foe in Champions League|
|AC Milan signed too many players, admits Fassone|
|Real Madrid face PSG, Chelsea drawn with Barcelona|
|FA seeking information over Manchester derby incident|
|He is one of the best strikers in the Premier League - Wilshere hails Giroud|
|Mata: No time to mourn derby defeat|
|Hitzfeld tells Nagelsmann to honour Hoffenheim contract|
|Amor: Mascherano future to become clear soon|
|Huddersfield confident of Chelsea scalp - Ince|
|De Bruyne: Man City have to enjoy derby victory|
|There is no-one like Messi – Alcacer|
|Kane: Bring on the best in Champions League|
|Neville: Lukaku needs to believe amid Man United struggles|
|Messi best player of all time – Rakitic|
|Gattuso: I´m even tense playing football with my son|
|Suarez admits Villarreal red swung it for Barcelona|
|Villarreal win ´crucial´ for Barcelona boss Valverde|
|Villarreal 0 Barcelona 2: Suarez, Messi restore five-point LaLiga lead|
|AC Milan 2 Bologna 1: Bonaventura brace breaks Gattuso´s duck|
|Guardiola: Man City are an honest team|
|Mourinho: Herrera denied clear penalty in derby defeat|
|Mourinho admits title race ´probably´ over|
|Simeone defends Atleti´s style after battling win over Betis|
|Manchester City´s 14th win on the spin sets new top-flight record|
|Manchester United 1 Manchester City 2: Otamendi strikes massive blow in Premier League title race|
|Allardyce praises ´brave´ Pawson after penalty decision|
|Atletico Madrid set club-record unbeaten run in LaLiga|
|Ajax 3 PSV 0: Eredivisie title race gets new lease of life|
|Klopp involved in post-match spat with reporter|
|Rooney backs awarding of ´clear penalty´|
|Real Betis 0 Atletico Madrid 1: Rojiblancos make history to assuage Champions League pain|
|Klopp rages at referee after late penalty denies Liverpool|
|Liverpool 1 Everton 1: Late Rooney penalty secures unlikely derby draw|
|Napoli 0 Fiorentina 0: Sarri´s men miss chance to usurp Inter|
|Martial and Rashford both start Manchester derby as Jesus edges out Aguero|
|Neuer in no doubt over World Cup fitness|
|Wenger labels Saints sinners over time-wasting|
|Super-sub Giroud celebrates being Arsenal´s saviour again|
|Southampton 1 Arsenal 1: Super-sub Giroud rescues last-gasp point|
|Firmino and Coutinho on bench for Merseyside derby|
|Stoger ready to grab ´incredible opportunity´ at Dortmund|
|Courtois keen to resolve Chelsea future|
|Borussia Dortmund sack Bosz, bring in Stoger|
|Melbourne City 1 Central Coast Mariners 0: McCormack eases Cahill blues|
|Dortmund to hold news conference with Bosz on the brink|
|Guardiola: I would retire if possession football did not work|
|There´s no comparison, Ronaldo is best – Marcelo|
|Baker Mayfield wins Heisman Trophy|
|Bradley revels in ´dream´ MLS Cup success|
|Valverde unsure about Mascherano future|
|Allegri pleased with Juve display|
|Mourinho highlights City´s tactical fouls to ramp up ref pressure|
|Spalletti makes his point as Inter show they belong in Serie A title race|
|Toronto FC 2 Seattle Sounders 0: Altidore and Vazquez seal MLS Cup and historic treble|