Pep Guardiola has revealed his admiration for Thomas Tuchel and says he is expecting ‘a good battle’ as Manchester City face Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-finals.
Manchester City’s pursuit of an unprecedented quadruple continues with a last four meeting against Chelsea in the FA Cup tomorrow, both sides arriving into the clash in impressive recent form after reaching the Champions League semi-finals in midweek.
Tuchel has overseen an impressive upturn in results since replacing Frank Lampard as Chelsea’s head coach earlier this year, losing just two of his 18 fixtures in charge across all competitions.
Guardiola has previous in facing Tuchel from his time in the Bundesliga at Bayern Munich, taking on the former Mainz and Borussia Dortmund coach whilst in German football.
The Spaniard has praised the coaching pathway Tuchel has since followed and says he ‘knew from the beginning’ that the now Chelsea boss would enjoy success.
“I know him from Mainz. When I was in Munich, after he went to Dortmund and spent one or two games playing exactly the way he wanted to play,” Guardiola told his pre-match press conference.
“It was difficult to take over a team during the season but he has a lot of experience winning at a top club like PSG and now another club at Chelsea. I knew from the beginning he would do a good job.
Guardiola has discussed Chelsea’s fortunes this season following a mid-season change of manager, revealing his admiration for both former boss Frank Lampard and tomorrow’s opposite number, Tuchel.
“Every manager plays in the way they play. Frank did an incredible job in the first season when he could not sign players and qualified for the Champions League.
“I admire both as a person and a manager. Tomorrow we face Thomas. He knows how I admire him and how good he is as a manager. It will be a good battle.”