Guardiola: De Zerbi among “the most influential managers” in last 20 years

Guardiola: De Zerbi among “the most influential managers” in last 20 years

Pep Guardiola has been discussing the success enjoyed by Brighton under manager Roberto De Zerbi.

The praise from the Manchester City boss comes ahead of his club’s meeting with the Seagulls on Wednesday night.

The Manchester outfit travel to the south coast for their Premier League clash, going into the game as newly-crowned champions.

Guardiola full of praise for De Zerbi

Guardiola guided his men to a third successive league title at the weekend, with Man City defeating Chelsea 1-0 after Arsenal handed them the trophy having lost to Nottingham Forest by the same scoreline a day earlier.

Man City celebrated the success in front of their fans at the Etihad, and now have the opportunity to extend their lead at the top against De Zerbi’s Brighton.

The Seagulls are also enjoying a superb campaign, with the club securing European football for the first time in their history.

They go into the match against Guardiola and his players sitting sixth in the Premier League table, with the Man City boss full of praise for his opposite number.

“Congratulations to Brighton for this incredible achievement of getting into Europe,” said Guardiola, as quoted by the official Man City website.

“Roberto De Zerbi is one of the most influential managers in the last 20 years. There is no team that plays the way they play, it’s unique.

“I had the feeling that when he arrived I had an idea the impact he would have on the Premier League would be great but I couldn’t expect him to do it in such a short time.

“They create on average 20-25 chances per game. They monopolise the ball in a way that hasn’t been seen for a long time. Everybody is involved – the goalkeeper is like a holding midfielder.”


Guardiola expecting tough task

Man City go into the match on a 12-game winning run, with that form making them a truly formidable opponent.

It is a run that has helped them clinch yet another Premier League trophy, but also spots in the finals of the FA Cup and Champions League.

The Manchester outfit take on their city rivals Man United in the former, before meeting Italian giants Inter Milan in the latter.

Those fixtures are scheduled for 3 June and 10 June respectively, but Guardiola must first come head to head with Brighton and Brentford in the Premier League.

And the manager is expecting a very difficult challenge against the Seagulls given how they have performed this season.

Brighton have already secured a spot in next season’s Europa Conference League, but a point against Man City would guarantee the club a phenomenal Europa League place.

They even have another chance to achieve that when they take on Aston Villa on the final day of the season at Villa Park, but their hosts are also vying for a European spot.

“They completely deserve the compliments and the success that they have,” added Guardiola. “It’s one of the teams that I try to learn a lot from, it’s unique.

“It’s going to be an incredible challenge for us ahead of the two finals.”

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