Pep Guardiola says Man City is not going to discover it simple to cease Chelsea within the Champions League ultimate because the off-the-ball motion when Thomas Tuchel’s facet is in possession is “so intelligent” and well-coached.
On Saturday afternoon, the 2 Premier League heavyweights will go face to face in Porto to win the largest prize in European soccer. Chelsea have twice reached this stage up to now, struggling defeat in Moscow to Manchester United in 2008 and overcoming Bayern Munich on their very own patch in 2012.
For Man City, that is uncharted territory. Guardiola, although, has twice lifted the Champions League trophy as a coach. His expertise will depend for lots in Portugal.
However, because the appointment of Tuchel by Chelsea on the finish of January, the Blues have recorded back-to-back victories over Guardiola’s facet. First within the FA Cup semi-final and then within the Premier League on the Etihad Stadium.
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As one of many shrewdest and most astute coaches in Europe, the City head coach could have learned quite a bit about Chelsea from these two defeats. Yet he admits stopping the Blues on the Dragao on Saturday might be far from simple.
“When they’ve the ball it is troublesome to manage them due to their gamers so shut,” Guardiola defined at his pre-match press convention this afternoon.
“Their holding midfielders transfer completely with one another and, on the similar time, they make the pitch so broad with wing-backs and so deep with the motion of [Timo] Werner.
“So they’re troublesome to manage as a result of they transfer completely with (Christian) Pulisic and (Mason) Mount within the pockets. Once these gamers get the ball, they’re so direct. They should not gamers making an attempt to cross the ball, their motion is so intelligent.
“I noticed this morning their recreation in opposition to Aston Villa. They misplaced however they performed good, managed the sport, the method they’ve they do very well. I could not anticipate a harder opponent. We realize it.
“We’re going to face them understanding what we’ve to do to beat them. I’m extra involved about what we’ve to do with the ball.
“If our technique with the ball is true – and the technique from day one since we arrived – is with the ball. This is what we’ll work on the 2 or three days earlier than the ultimate on Saturday.”
Tuchel has beforehand admitted that Guardiola has had an enormous affect on his profession. The German used to religiously watch the Catalan’s Barcelona facet and was entranced by the high-energy, high-pressing, possession-dominating model performed.
During Guardiola’s time in Germany, and whereas Tuchel was between his jobs at Mainz and Borussia Dortmund, he sat down for dinner with Tuchel in Munich. And he remembers that it was a night spent solely speaking about soccer.
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“I used to be working at Bayern Munich and dinner was organised collectively in Munich collectively, Schumann’s bar,” Guardiola mentioned.
“We talked soccer, soccer, soccer and soccer. That’s all. We talked about this and that, our emotions, our loves, the great and unhealthy gamers at that second.
“So soccer and soccer with attention-grabbing individuals means I study quite a bit. I had good meals and good wine, it was a pleasant second to share. It’s a very good reminiscence.
“Since then we grew up and, after all, each of us have a very good relationship. I respect him and he is aware of – and I do know – that we need to win.”