Pep Guardiola thought that Everton posed a tougher challenge to Manchester City than any other side they have faced since the last international break in their FA Cup win.
City had to wait until the final 10 minutes to get the two goals that sent them through to the semi-finals of the competition.
It moved them another step closer towards a big trophy haul. Their form over the past few months has put them in contention to win multiple honours this season.
But Everton showed their resistance and left them requiring an “incredible” effort, according to Guardiola.
He told BT Sport: “It was a really tough game.
“We saw the commitment from Everton, how focused they were. They defended really aggressively.
“We conceded nothing; we were patient. It was one of the toughest games we’ve played in the last four months. It was the toughest game since the last international break we had.
“We have been incredible in terms of results and performances [over that period].
“Tonight was so difficult; they have experienced players behind the ball with two up for [the] counter-attack.
“It was incredible commitment from my players. An incredible victory.
“Hopefully the bubbles [during the international break] are controlled. I’m looking forward to everyone coming back safe.”
Gundogan credits City patience
City eventually broke Everton down when Ilkay Gundogan gave them a late lead, before Kevin De Bruyne doubled it.
While explaining how he got his goal, Gundogan praised his teammates for finding a way to win in difficult circumstances.
He told BT: “We tried to stay in the game and thankfully it turned out well for us.
“I think we struggled a little bit to find spaces in the first half. We weren’t all together in the right positions.
“Everton did really well; they defended well and they are a great team, so it’s not easy. We knew that we could struggle before the game but we overcame it and we did really well.
“I just tried to be there waiting for the rebound. I think the timing was perfect – it was a great win.
“I’m enjoying it at the moment. Everyone put in the hard work. This is not a given, it’s not granted, so we need to make the right decisions.
“We don’t always make the best kind of football but it’s about staying in the game and finding the right moments, being patient. There will be a few more games like this I think but we have to be ready for them.
“If you want to win trophies and fight for everything, you have to find a way to win.”