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."
|Smith the top dog again, Moeen misery continues - Perth player ratings|
|Barcelona midfielder Rafinha available for Clasico|
|Tudor sacked by Galatasaray|
|Du Plessis could miss historic Zimbabwe Test|
|Puncheon charged by police after late-night incident|
|France great Michalak to retire at end of the season|
|Whitewash in Australia´s sights as England face unenviable task|
|Lynn the six king, Scorchers the team to beat - The best Opta facts as the BBL returns|
|West Ham star Lanzini charged for dive at Stoke|
|Root backs Cook, Broad and Anderson to extend Test careers|
|Bayliss still believes he´s the right man to lead England|
|Mikel not interested in January move to Everton|
|Dortmund frustrated by Aubameyang punctuality - Zorc|
|Hegazi secures permanent West Brom deal|
|We´ll see how he pulls up - Smith unsure Starc will play in Melbourne|
|Diddy wants to buy Carolina Panthers and sign Kaepernick|
|Police investigating ´hate crime´ amid reports of Sterling attack|
|Halstenberg suffers broken hand in scoring for Leipzig|
|Van Gaal eyes one more job ´to spite Manchester United´|
|The Ashes Round-up: Perth pummelling sees Australia reclaim the urn|
|Valverde fumes over ´absurd´ lack of VAR in LaLiga|
|We´ve not played well for long enough, says beaten Bayliss|
|´Proud´ Smith hails Australia selectors after regaining Ashes|
|England ´outplayed´ by Australia as Root loses grip on the urn|
|Conte rails against Chelsea exit rumours|
|Dominant Australia regain the Ashes|
|Arnold backed for Socceroos job as Ryan pays tribute to Postecoglou|
|Jaguars end NFL playoff drought, Packers in danger|
|LeBron logs third straight triple-double as Cavaliers keep rolling|
|I´m happy playing for Lazio, says Man United target Milinkovic-Savic|
|Klopp dislikes ´Fab Four´ nickname|
|Wet pitch, rain delay final day in Perth|
|Ronaldo a legend, one of best ever – Ramos|
|Richardson to put Panthers up for sale at season´s end|
|Starc set to bowl despite bruised heel|
|Steelers star Brown suffers calf injury|
|Patriots edge Steelers in thriller|
|Kaka Retires: The last member of Brazil´s 2002 World Cup-winning team|
|Barcelona won´t give Real Madrid a guard of honour – Amor|
|Valverde adamant Clasico won´t decide LaLiga|
|Barcelona could have held Griezmann talks, says Amor|
|There are other challengers - Suarez tempers Clasico fever|
|Adverse drugs test has put Froome in ´horrible situation´|
|Pre-season win over Spurs key to City´s season, Guardiola claims|
|Juventus still monitoring Liverpool´s Can - Marotta|
|Griezmann apologises for ´awkward´ fancy dress|
|Barcelona lose Alcacer for El Clasico|
|Barcelona 4 Deportivo La Coruna 0: Suarez, Paulinho at the double in Clasico warm-up|
|Griezmann attracts criticism for ´racist´ fancy dress|
|Spedding extends Sarries losing streak, Wasps halt La Rochelle|
|Klopp calls for Liverpool consistency after Bournemouth battering|
|Coutinho won´t be drawn on Liverpool future|
|Kaka Retires: Ballon d´Or, Milan glory and Brazil brilliance among career highlights|
|Liverpool make top-flight history in Bournemouth victory|
|We can´t think we´re unbeatable - Jesus|
|Lukaku´s love for West Brom behind muted celebration - Mourinho|
|Bournemouth 0 Liverpool 4: Coutinho sparkles as Reds return to winning ways|
|Pool-topping Blues gain Sale revenge|
|Kaka Retires: Former clubs and team-mates pay tribute|
|Dybala needs to be in better physical shape - Allegri|
|Hearts break spell but Celtic join Milan, Porto among unbeaten elite|
|Juventus allowed Bologna nothing - Pjanic|
|Mourinho: United lost ambition in second-half slump|
|Lingard claiming second goal in Manchester United win|
|Rohit relishing overseas challenges after Sri Lanka ODI series win|
|Kaka eyes future in the boardroom after resisting Milan swansong|
|West Brom 1 Manchester United 2: Lukaku on target against old club|
|Former AC Milan and Brazil star Kaka announces retirement|
|Bologna 0 Juventus 3: Pjanic, Mandzukic and Matuidi send champions second|
|Feyenoord hit seven against Sparta Rotterdam|