Pep Guardiola is one of the greatest tactical minds in football history.
In fact, Guardiola could extend that record to four seasons on English football’s throne in the coming weeks with City looking increasingly commanding in the 2021/22 Premier League title race.
Man City vs Chelsea
Having suffered a 1-0 defeat to City at Stamford Bridge that first sparked the Manchester club’s title hopes, Thomas Tuchel has the chance to put things right at the Etihad Stadium this weekend.
And although there’s good reason to think that Tuchel isn’t quite the mastermind that Guardiola has proven himself to be, there’s no denying that the Chelsea boss is yet another strategic wizard.
Guardiola vs Tuchel
In fact, the 48-year-old’s record against Guardiola since taking over from Frank Lampard has actually been superb despite the fact that they came up short in west London last time out.
Not only did Tuchel steer Chelsea to both Premier League and FA Cup victories over City last season, but he also outthought Guardiola when it mattered most in the Champions League final.
Pretty positive signs, right? Well, yes, but the most recent victory for City suggests that Guardiola is gradually starting to figure out his German adversary and you can even trace that back to May.
Guardiola’s breakdown of Tuchel’s tactics
We say that because although Guardiola ultimately lost against the Blues in Lisbon, he nevertheless gave a 37-second breakdown of Tuchel’s tactics before the final that was frighteningly good.
Well, if nothing else, it was a gripping insight into the City boss’ inner thinking as an elite coach and the clip has arguably never felt more pertinent now that he’s looking to reassert authority on Tuchel.
So, grab your pens and paper, students, because you’ve got a snackable tactical masterclass coming your way from one of football’s greatest ever managers in the brilliant clip down below:
Well, at least the fan didn’t actually have to worry about ‘sh*tting breaks’…
Guardiola’s tactical insight
That being said, is it just us that could listen to Guardiola talking tactics all day long?
Now, sure, Guardiola’s motor-mouthed breakdown might well have been more for show than genuine insight into his team talk for the final, but that doesn’t make it any less mesmerising.
The simple fact of the matter is that you can see the cogs whizzing around in his head as he talks through a tactical system that he clearly has respect for and desperately wants to get the better of.
He might not have been able to achieve that soon afterwards in the Champions League final, but the 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge suggests that he’s slowly starting to get Tuchel figured out.
However, with Tuchel having flirted with a four-at-the-back system in recent weeks, is the Chelsea boss a few chess moves ahead of Guardiola once again on the back of City’s recent victory?
Maybe, maybe, but forgive us for demanding another 37-second breakdown if that’s the case!