The Man City boss says he learns from watching his Chelsea counterpart, though he insists his side deserved to win their meeting earlier this season
Pep Guardiola says he learns from watching Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, who he says is “maybe the best” in the world, and insists his Manchester City side would be much better off in the Premier League this season had they beaten the Londoners in December.
The City boss identified Chelsea as title contenders last summer due to his huge admiration for their manager, and has praised the various ways they can inflict damage on the opposition.
City travel to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night 11 points behind the league leaders, and Guardiola says he can learn from Conte as he strives to make as big an impact at the Etihad Stadium as the Italian has had in west London.
“My opinion about my colleague Conte is that he’s superb, maybe he’s the best,” the Catalan said on Tuesday. “He was able to make Italy play beautiful football, Juventus too, in a culture where it’s so defensive. He’s an excellent manager, I learn a lot when I see his teams – Juventus, Italy and now. I like to do that because you see what they want to do. Their teams control a lot of aspects. It’s a good lesson for me to see his teams and learn.”
And the Catalan believes that his side’s whole season has hinged on that one result, as they would have gone one point behind Chelsea had they won.
“Believe me, I saw the game many teams,” he added. “We were much, much better. I’m sorry Antonio but we were. We deserved to win. At that moment it was one point if we win, it goes to seven, then we go to Leicester without Sergio [Aguero, who was sent off against Chelsea], it’s another three [points] and soon it’s ten points [behind]. These are minimum details.”
Despite Chelsea running riot on the counter in Manchester earlier this season, Guardiola dismissed the idea that that is the only way Conte’s side can cause them further damage on Wednesday.