Manchester City vs Chelsea: Guardiola responds to Tuchel's admitting his tactical error

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said Chelsea have played differently in the last games compared to when his team defeated them at Stamford Bridge in September.

The league leaders secured a dominant 1-0 win against Chelsea in the reverse fixture. They had more possession of the ball and created a lot more goalscoring opportunities.

Chelsea, on the other hand, failed to register any shot on target at home and eventually tasted their first defeat of the season.

Interestingly, in his earlier press conference, Tuchel admitted he got it wrong tactically which made his team “too passive and too defensive”.

“It was not meant [to be] like this, but it turned out this way,” Tuchel added.

“They [Manchester City] were too aggressive for our build-up play. We did not have the solution to escape from our own half.

“So yeah, lesson learned.”

Photo by Matt McNulty – Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images

Guardiola, who described his team’s performance in west London as “exceptional”, seems to expect Chelsea to approach the game differently as well.

“[After listening to his quote] I can imagine what is going to happen tomorrow,” the Manchester City boss said in his pre-match press conference in reaction to Tuchel’s admission.

“He [Tuchel] didn’t like the way they played at home [in the reverse fixture], so they are going to play differently away.

“But seeing [their game against] Liverpool and both games against Tottenham, I saw that Chelsea were completely different from when they played at Stamford Bridge [in September].

“I don’t know if the plan was like this, or they could not do it differently. After listening to the quote, I presume [this is] the approach that Chelsea will have at the Etihad stadium.”

Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

Chelsea lacked a No. 10 in reverse fixture

In the defeat to Manchester City, Tuchel opted for a 3-5-2 formation with Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner playing in a strike pairing.

The German even deployed his three main midfielders; N’Golo Kante, Jorginho, and Mateo Kovacic.

However, Chelsea did not have any number 10 on the pitch to link the two lines as Mason Mount, who usually plays the role, was absent.

Ian Wright recently urged Tuchel to play counter-attacking football, capitalising on Kante’s work rate and Lukaku’s pace, rather than competing for possession with Guardiola’s team.

It could be an option, but as has been the case in the last few games, it is quite difficult to predict what Tuchel will come up with.

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A Chelsea fan who loves football statistics. Studied sports journalism at the University of Sunderland.