Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola claims he admires Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel ahead of this weekend FA Cup semifinals.

FA Cup

Tuchel and Guardiola battle to qualify for the finals on Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final match at Wembley. The two tacticians lock their heads at Wembley for the first in about five years, but they already know each other. The tie will reignite their Bundesliga rivalry.

The Spanish Tactician outshines Tuchel in Germany claiming four wins and a draw in their five encounters. However, Bayern Munich’s side was always expected to win over Tuchel’s Mainz and Borussia Dortmund’s sides.

Despite the German tactician success at Stamford Bridge, Guardiola was not surprised though.

“No. I know him from Mainz when I was in Munich in the first season. After that, he went to Dortmund,” Guardiola said.

“The way he wants to play is so quick. It is tough to take over a team in the season. But he has a lot of experience being at a top club like Paris Saint Germain and now Chelsea,” Pep continued.

Ahead of the FA Cup semis, Guardiola reveals he already knew the German would do well at Chelsea from day one.

“I knew from the beginning that he would do a good job,” Guardiola revealed.

Meanwhile, Tuchel has admitted that his side lags behind Manchester City but vows to close the gap next season. Ahead of the Wembley clash,, Tuchel charges his player to close the gap in Saturday’s 90 minutes.

“We have to accept that there is a gap between us and Manchester City,” Tuchel said.

“If you look at the fixture in the Premier League and the fixtures in the last years we have to accept this. And it’s important that we accept this without making ourselves too small,” he explained.

“So from next year on, from day one of next season we will hunt them. We will try to close the gap between us,” added Tuchel Continued.

The German added, “And this benchmark. For me in Europe, there are two teams who are the benchmark, there is Bayern Munich and Manchester City.”