Pep Guardiola’s Lessons Learned from the 2021 Champions League Final: How Manchester City Plans to Prevail in 2023

This time, we won’t take it back. It’s almost a certainty, even if with Pep Guardiola, you should never say never. But the memory of the 2021 final is still too vivid. “This competition made me live very difficult moments that hurt me, which will remain forever in a corner of my head.“, confessed the person concerned on the UEFA website this week. And if he does not quote it, the final lost to Chelsea in 2021 is necessarily one of those moments. It is even perhaps the main .

After ten years of quest, Pep Guardiola had never been so close to ending his drought in the Champions League and to wielding the “Big Ears Cup” again, as in 2009 and 2011 with Lionel Messi’s Barça. But against Chelsea, he took a crazy bet this evening in May at the Dragon stadium in Porto: to upset his eleven to everyone’s surprise and put everything back on track for the last match of this exercise despite Manchester City’s perfect course in Europe. that season (11 wins and a draw).

Champions League

Inter, intermittent giant of the continent


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The Tuchel factor in 2021

At kick-off, the former Barça and Bayern coach had neither Rodri nor Fernandinho lined up, depriving himself of any defensive midfielder in his starting lineup. A mind-blowing experiment at this stage of the competition. And who confused his training, ultimately beaten by the Blues (1-0). “Pep Guardiola has crossed the fine line between genius and madness, and decided that a Champions League final was the right time to carry out one of his experiments as a mad professor. wrote the British tabloid the next day The Sunsumming up the thinking of many that weekend.

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Two years later, Manchester City have a new opportunity to finally add that much-desired Champions League to their trophy cabinet. But Pep Guardiola will surely not play the “mad teacher” trick again. The reasons are many. If Manchester City remain the huge favorites of this final after their impressive season, Inter Milan do not have the same recent past as Chelsea at the time. Before this final in Porto, the London club had indeed won the last duels between the two teams in the previous weeks (note: in the semi-finals of the FA Cup 1-0 on April 17, and in the Premier League 2-1, May 8). Thomas Tuchel then seemed to have found the key against City. The former PSG technician had even gotten into Guardiola’s head a little, which surely prompted the latter to review his plans.

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Josep Guardiola, beaten with Manchester City against Chelsea in the 2021 Champions League final

Credit: Getty Images

Would I do something different now? Maybe

This time the story is different. So of course Guardiola, who has hardly changed his XI for a few months, will find some similarities with the 2021 final.”It’s not the same but they play five behind, the approach was also defensive but of course Chelsea also had incredibly good patterns to punish us, he slipped this week. Jhope we can attack a bit better“.

But, above all, he seems to have learned the lessons of the past. “If I tell you privately why I made that decision at that time, you could say it was right, but it’s simple: ‘If I lose I’m wrong, if I win , I am right’. You have to accept it in this job. It was a tight game and we were better than them in many ways, but we lost. Would I do something different now? Maybe, but that doesn’t matter“, he confessed on Tuesday. It is up to him not to do too “different” this time.

Champions League

But by the way, is there a strong man in City?


2023-06-09 01:33:17
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