Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi praised Orlando Pirates for being tough opponents after their 2-0 win at Orlando Stadium on Saturday.
Peter Shalulile grabbed a marvellous brace to consolidate Sundowns' position at the top of the table and it was another impressive performance from the Brazilians.
However, Pirates had more than their fair share of chances but could not capitalise and Mngqithi admits it was a much-improved Buccaneers side to the one his side have come up against in the recent past.
"We should give them credit," the Masandawana mentor told SuperSport TV.
"They were better organised than the past few matches when we played them their organisation was not at this level. They made it very difficult for us to penetrate.
"That's why we had to try and look for possibilities maybe to find openings behind their centre backs. Even first half we could have had those situations because we know maybe there is a chance with their full-backs because of their height. And Shandu has to go forward a lot. He's giving them a lot of good attacking moves.
"We tried to play a little bit through the midfield with Mshishi and Kutumela. Very good aggressive run from Kutumela. That's what we expect of him. A little bit more direct. To take on Mosele and to put a cross inside. He knows he's got speed. That's what opened the game up. From there we were always going to create another chance when they started to open up and come at us.
"I think the Pirates that we played today if it continues the way there were even in the previous match, they are very organised. They are looking very good on the ball and they can always hurt anyone. They've got some very interesting players up front.
"Credit must be given to our boys. They kept focus, kept grinding. We knew it was not going to be easy. When you have won so many matches in Orlando, they would come out as wounded animals wanting to kill and honestly speaking they really showed up for this match today."