Ancelotti’s full of praise for Guardi­ola and his Blues

Manchester Evening News - - SPORT - By STU­ART BREN­NAN

CARLO Ancelotti has given Pep Guardi­ola’s City team the ul­ti­mate com­pli­ment - by sug­gest­ing they have a di­men­sion to their game which his Barcelona and Bay­ern Mu­nich sides lacked.

The Ever­ton man­ager saw his new charges beaten 2-1 at the Eti­had Sta­dium on New Year’s Day.

And the Ital­ian, lauded as one of the man­age­rial greats af­ter tak­ing both AC Mi­lan and Real Madrid to Cham­pi­ons League tri­umphs as well as win­ning league ti­tles with Chelsea, Paris St Ger­main and Bay­ern Mu­nich, be­lieves the Blues have a string to their bow which Guardi­ola’s pre­vi­ous teams did not.

Ever­ton were picked apart by City’s slick pass­ing and move­ment for Gabriel Je­sus’ first goal, and were then un­der con­stant threat from the Blues’ counter-at­tacks, driven by Kevin de Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez.

Asked what the dif­fer­ence is be­tween this City team and Guardi­ola’s other two great sides, Ancelotti picked on this as­pect.

Guardi­ola has tweaked his own ideas of the game since com­ing to Eng­land - he al­ways in­sisted his de­ci­sion to come here was about him learn­ing from the English game rather than the other way around.

And he has de­vel­oped City into a team that has a sim­i­lar pass-and-move mantra to Barca and Bay­ern, but which is not afraid to go long to stretch teams.

Ancelotti feels that is the ba­sic dif­fer­ence be­tween City and Guardi­ola’s other sides.

“This is a team that can play, when they have the pos­si­bil­ity to play, more di­rect com­pared to Bay­ern and Barcelona,” he said.

“They have play­ers that can play di­rect - De Bruyne, Mahrez if they find the pos­si­bil­ity they are able to do counter-at­tack also.”

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