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."
|Cheika still the right man for Australia - Polota-Nau|
|Bolt not giving up on Manchester United dream|
|All Blacks must improve ´average´ set-piece, says Smith|
|Raiola hits back at Scholes following Pogba criticism|
|Indians top Red Sox in series opener|
|Struff stuns Cecchinato, Jarry reaches last 16|
|I´ll prove people wrong - Bolt completes first Mariners training session|
|Former champ Kvitova tops Radwanska, Pliskova ousted|
|Sad if it´s Filipe Luis´ last game for Atletico - Oblak|
|White Sox manager Rick Renteria hospitalised before game|
|Carragher: Van Dijk can become Liverpool legend|
|No timetable for Sale return from shoulder injury|
|This is a partnership - Rodgers on contract negotiations with Packers|
|Eagles QB Wentz unsure he´ll be cleared to play opener|
|Balotelli staying at Nice|
|It wasn´t a penalty, says Hodgson as Palace boss fumes at refereeing decisions|
|Salah can play much better - Klopp demands more from Liverpool star|
|Gasly to Red Bull: Vettel, Verstappen and the drivers who took their Toro Rosso chance|
|Klopp in the dark on Karius future amid links to Besiktas|
|Simeone pleased with draw after rigours of Super Cup|
|Captain Reus saves Dortmund in DFB-Pokal|
|I couldn´t care less - Klopp rejects title challenge talk|
|Ailing Bairstow keen to aid England´s unlikely victory bid at Trent Bridge|
|Redskins secure Peterson signing|
|Manchester City goalkeeper Bravo suffers ruptured Achilles|
|Crystal Palace 0 Liverpool 2: Milner and Mane secure victory at Selhurst Park|
|Whyte takes aim at ´coward´ Fury ahead of Wilder showdown|
|Jets delighted with Darnold, open to trading Bridgewater|
|Gasly to replace Ricciardo at Red Bull|
|Valencia 1 Atletico Madrid 1: Rodrigo strikes to deny Simeone´s side|
|Injured Halep withdraws from Connecticut Open|
|Cipriani fined £2,000 by Gloucester|
|Mourinho will be sacked before Christmas, says Sharpe|
|England face record chase after Kohli smashes India to huge lead|
|Ozil captaining Arsenal a miracle - Hoeness|
|Japan players apologise for ´thoughtless, careless´ actions at Asian Games|
|Henry wants Bordeaux job, Wenger confirms|
|Pogba too inconsistent and not a leader, claims Scholes|
|PCB chairman Sethi resigns in letter to Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan|
|US Open comes too soon for Tsonga|
|Unpredictable results making 2018 F1 season a classic - Wolff|
|Mendy restricts phone use on Guardiola advice|
|Modric brands Inter approach claim ´the greatest nonsense in history´|
|Runners and Ryders: Olesen leapfrogs Poulter into last Team Europe berth|
|Kenedy escapes further action over Camarasa kick|
|England´s Bairstow suffers ´small fracture´ to finger|
|Gonalons joins Sevilla on loan from Roma|
|Modric, Ronaldo and Salah final UEFA Player of the Year nominees|
|Tottenham to play opening Champions League home match at Wembley|
|Karius´ Champions League blunders did not lead to Alisson signing - Klopp|
|Leeds considered €20m Conte offer before turning to Bielsa|
|Modric, Rakitic lead new era for World Cup finalists Croatia|
|Storm´s Chambers banned for three weeks, Smith injury not serious|
|Porte to race Vuelta after recovering from Tour crash|
|The Career Golden Masters: A run-down of Djokovic´s magnificent record|
|Japan send home four basketball players from Asian Games amid prostitution scandal|
|Rugby tackle bags helping Liverpool´s Alisson with Premier League life|
|Federer raring to go at US Open after Djokovic defeat|
|Chelsea boss Sarri plans to give up smoking|
|Alonso´s Toyota team stripped of Silverstone victory|
|Ceballos: No issue with former Real Madrid boss Zidane|
|MLS Review: Martinez equals single-season goalscoring record|
|Astros avoid sweep with win over Athletics|
|Seppi advances, Paire exits Winston-Salem|
|Bale feeling good as Madrid eye sweep of trophies|
|You can´t leave a house three-quarters built – Neville urges United to back Mourinho|
|Dodgers slugger Machado leaves game after being struck by pitch|
|Harden says Carmelo will ´be a good fit´ for Rockets|
|Morata: I never considered Chelsea exit|
|Gavrilova kicks off title defence in New Haven|