Guardiola lost to Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea team in the Champions League final in May 2021. The two coaches will meet again on Saturday in a Premier League clash. Guardiola must avoid repeating the mistake he made during the UCL final if he wants to grab a positive point against Chelsea on Saturday.
In his selected team lineup for the UCL final, he did not choose a holding, defensive midfielder. In Manchester City's midfield, there were the likes of De Bruyne, Gundogan and Bernado Silva. There were no defensive midfielders such as Fernandinho and Rodri.
His team lost because there was no one doing the work of a defensive midfielder. The work of a defensive midfielder is often underestimated. It is his responsibility to start attacks from the back. He is also the first line of defence positioned just in front of the central defenders.
The midfielders who played the game were either attack midfielders or central midfielders. They did not have the right skills to handle the responsibilities of a holding midfielder. It came as no surprise when Chelsea penetrated the Man City defence just before half time.
No player tracked the run of Kai Havertz who sped through Manchester City's midfield to latch onto Mason Mount's through ball.
Guardiola realised his mistake in the second half. He introduced Fernandinho in the second half and his impact was felt instantly. However, it was too late for Manchester City as Thomas Tuchel's tactics tightened Chelsea's defence.
Some football analysts suggested that Pep Guardiola tried to be too clever as a coach in his team selection process. It cost him a chance to win his 3rd UCL trophy as a manager.
When Manchester City travel to Chelsea on Saturday, it will be the 4th meeting of the two sides since Tuchel took over at Chelsea. Chelsea has won all three of the meetings between the two so far. Thomas Tuchel can be said to have Pep Guardiola's number at the moment.
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