Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel outwitted Manchester City for the third time this season, beating them 1-0 in the Champions League final.
The Blues might have been the underdogs in this encounter but they surely had their tales up thanks to those previous two victories in recent months. And according to Arsene Wenger, these two losses did half the work for Thomas Tuchel on Saturday night.
The urge to not get beaten a third time clearly forced Pep Guardiola to make some really unconventional changes to his starting line-up and then there was obviously Tuchel’s brilliant planning to nullify the Manchester City midfield.
The Frenchman told beIN SPORTS, as quoted by The Express: “[Pep] Guardiola has just been voted manager of the year in England, because he won the [Premier League] and dominated, but a final is on one game and that’s where you have to turn up and play at your best.
“Today, for Man City, that was not the case. They lost three games against Chelsea before. That strengthened Chelsea’s belief, and certainly made Man City a bit insecure.
“We never know exactly what traces that defeats leave in our mind, but it shows tonight that Chelsea were convinced they could beat them.
“I must say as well, what Tuchel did well was play Mount and Havertz more inside defensively, so City could never find a way through the middle and they had to go wide, where Chelsea were quite strong tonight.
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“So Man City had a big tactical problem tonight that they could never sort out. They were not balanced, they didn’t find a way to play incisive football and Chelsea stopped them very well.”
It was like an open secret that Pep Guardiola was going to use a false-nine system for the Champions League final and we are sure this bit of information made planning a whole lot easier for Thomas Tuchel as well. Pep had the likes of Aguero and Gabriel Jesus at his disposal but he chose to use them only when every other possible door was shut for him.
The Chelsea boss was clearly surprised at the exclusion of both Rodri and Fernandinho from the starting XI but eventually, this selection choice made Man City lose control of the midfield and forced them to play from the wider areas.
Thomas Tuchel has clearly outwitted Pep Guardiola this season and it was at the ultimate stage that the Man City failed to show his tactical prowess, somewhat helping Chelsea win the Champions League title.