Despite Manchester City’s League Cup penalty shootout win over Chelsea on Sunday, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola admitted Chelsea are one of the toughest teams he has faced in his career.
Chelsea beat Guardiola’s Barcelona on our way to winning the Champions League in 2012 and also defeated Guardiola’s Manchester City twice in our title winning season under Antonio Conte.
“It was a tight game,” Guardiola said after the game. “Chelsea pressed and defended well.
“They are one of the toughest teams I’ve faced in my career. We could lose after the injuries we had in the game.”
Guardiola also revealed the League Cup final was similar to Chelsea’s performance in our 2-0 win over Manchester City at Stamford Bridge in December.
“They didn’t press too high,” Guardiola added. “The game was a final so it was difficult.
“It was a similar game to the one at Stamford Bridge. It was tougher.”
Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga refused to come off moments before the penalty shootout, an incident that overshadowed Chelsea’s performance against Manchester City.
When asked about his thoughts on Kepa’s action, Guardiola said: “I know what happened but not the reason why.”
Asked if he’s seen someone refuse to come off before, Guardiola added: “I don’t remember.”
Meanwhile, Chelsea legend John Terry accused Kepa of disrespecting Maurizio Sarri after his refusal to be substituted in the game against Manchester City.
“Once your number goes up you have to come off and show a bit of respect,” former Chelsea captain Terry said on Sky Sports. “Deal with that after. That’s the last thing the players want.
“It’s certainly not the end of it it’s clouded a good performance. It’s taken the shine off a good performance, it’s disappointing. We’ll see what happens.”