Guardiola: Chelsea 'controlled' Champions League final against City

Pep Guardiola admits Chelsea ‘controlled all departments’ in Champions League final win over Manchester City as his side look to avoid another slip-up against Thomas Tuchel when the title contenders clash

  • Manchester City suffered defeat against Chelsea in the Champions League final 
  • Pep Guardiola has watched back the clash and admitted Chelsea were in control 
  • He also insisted his team delivered a ‘really, really good’ performance in Porto 
  • City will face Chelsea this weekend for the first time since their European loss 

Pep Guardiola has admitted that Chelsea ‘controlled all departments’ in their Champions League final triumph over Manchester City last season, but insisted his team still delivered a ‘really good’ performance. 

City were made to suffer heartbreak in Porto after Kai Havertz struck shortly before half-time, and were only able to muster up one attempt on target in a showdown which saw them nullified across the pitch. 

Ahead of the two teams meeting for the first time since Chelsea lifted the famous trophy, Guardiola revealed he has watched back footage, and has pinpointed how the Blues were able to assert their dominance. 

Pep Guardiola admitted Chelsea ‘controlled all departments’ in the Champions League final

‘We played a great final. We lost but played a great final,’ Guardiola said. ‘We missed a little bit to be more precise in the last part of the game. We lost the second balls because the transitions are so good. 

‘They regain the ball and they regain again and after make a quick transition. They structure defensively so good, for the physicality they have, the movement they have, the quality in the short spaces. 

‘They controlled all departments which is why it was difficult in the final of the Champions League against an exceptional team. I had the feeling in the game and when I saw it, my impression is we were really, really good.’

Manchester City suffered heartbreak in Porto when Kai Havertz skipped past Ederson to score

Thomas Tuchel celebrated wildly and has enjoyed plenty of success over Guardiola in the past

In a sensational six-week period for Chelsea, Thomas Tuchel guided his team to three victories over Chelsea, in the FA Cup semi-finals, the Premier League and in Europe. But despite this, Guardiola has played down their head-to-head record.    

‘Every game is a new challenge to improve and learn and be better,’ he added.

‘A final is completely different, the previous games like in the FA Cup was a final and was a tight game, we lost. In the Premier League it was already done, we were already nearly champions. The Champions League was a massive game. 

‘We try to learn, now it’s a new competition and we learn for these games. It’s one more game for the Premier League. Prepare the game from the strong points we have and improve what we have to be better. 

Guardiola has looked to play down the significance of his head-to-head record with Tuchel

‘The mindset we had the last days to prepare this game will be the same against PSG and Liverpool before the international break.’

The trip to Chelsea marks the first of a trio of fixtures on the road for City, who also take on Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League and then Liverpool. 

When quizzed on what will be a crucial week for his players this season, Guardiola has said he is relishing the challenge. 

‘It’s so nice, what a privilege, and in a week with the Ryder Cup…’ he said. ‘Better than that? It’s not possible. One game at a time, we travel to London, and after we prepare the next one.’

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