Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said he admires Thomas Tuchel and already the German would do well at Chelsea from day one.
Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final match at Wembley will be the first encounter between the two tacticians in about five years, but they are clearly already familiar with each other from their rivalry in Bundesliga.
Guardiola came out on top with four wins and a draw in five encounters, but his Bayern Munich’s side was always expected to win over Tuchel’s Mainz and Borussia Dortmund sides.
Tuchel, who has already added two years of experience at Paris Saint-Germain to his resume, has since taken over at Chelsea and had a remarkable start; only two defeats in his first 18 games in charge.
It did not surprise Guardiola, though.
“No. I know him from Mainz when I was in Munich in the first season. After that, he went to Dortmund,” Guardiola said when asked whether he was surprised by Tuchel’s positive start at Chelsea in his press conference on Friday.
“The way he wants to play is so quick.
“It is tough to take over a team in the season. But he has a lot of experience being at a top club like Paris Saint-Germain and now Chelsea.
“I knew from the beginning that he would do a good job.”
Tuchel spoke about his admiration for Guardiola in his press conference, and apparently the feeling is mutual.
“He [Tuchel] knows how I admire him and how good he is as a manager,” Guardiola added.
“He has been doing a good job, it will be a good battle and yeah, we’re ready to face his game.”