Before Bayern Munich played Manchester City last night, their manager Pep Guardiola suggested the English team could go as far in the Champions League as Borussia Dortmund did last season.
However, even though he says it is “disrespectful” to describe Bayern’s 3-1 mauling of City at the Etihad as easy, it is unlikely that Guardiola really believes his own pre-match hype.
More close to the truth- after annexing 61% of the possession and assailing City with 15 shots on goal- is that Bayern probably played their best game of the season so far against their hapless hosts.
And in the end, Guardiola’s assessment was as brutal as his team had been.
"What happened today? We played better, we played good, we won," he said.
Scarily for Bayern’s German and European rivals, who have seen the treble champions steadily improving under Guardiola’s tutelage, the former Barcelona boss still believes his new side has vast room for improvement.
"Our [set] plays were catastrophic, terrible, we have to improve that," he said, hypercritically to some, but all in a day’s work in the search for football perfection.
"We have to defend well in our zone defence.
"I am very, very, happy but it's not the final of the Champions League, it's just the second game, we have time to improve and recover players and make little steps forward."
City meanwhile, were left to lick the wounds of yet another humbling Champions League experience.
Let down by their fumbling ‘keeper, Joe Hart, they know that realising their moderate ambition of making it out of the group stage for the first time in history is hardly within reach yet.
Shell-shocked manager, Manuel Pellegrini, who is more accustomed to guiding unfancied teams smoothly through Europe than suffering with expensive assembled ones, remains as upbeat as he can be however.
He refused to single out Hart’s repeated near-post fumbling as the root cause of City’s defeat.
And he says that with some concerted effort, his charges can still prove that they are not as far away from Bayern in the football constellation as last night’s events suggest.
"Of course the three goals we can do it better, all of us, not only the keeper," Pellegrini said.
"I am worried about the mistakes but I think that this was not an easy game, we played a strong team, our performance was not the way we [can play].
"The difference between City and Bayern can't be the difference you saw today."