Man City boss Pep Guardiola delighted to see Tottenham and Liverpool revive attacking style

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Pep Guardiola believes his style of play is gaining traction across English football after he experienced a tough first season with Manchester City.

Guardiola is pleased to see the high-possession, high-pressing and high-intensity approach he espouses has found popularity elsewhere in the Premier League, complimenting both Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur on the way they play.

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss saw his style questioned as he struggled to make an early impact at the Etihad Stadium, suffering the first trophyless season of his coaching career last term as City finished third in the table.

The transformation this season has been remarkable, with City having dropped just four points in 22 league matches as they remain in contention for an unprecedented trophy quadruple.

Having faced suggestions his style could not work in England, Guardiola is delighted to have proved his critics wrong, adding he loves to see other teams playing his way.

Manchester City celebrates

“I like that, because more than a manager, I’m a fan. When I have to choose, those are the type of teams I like to watch,” he said.

“Barcelona, I love to watch, first because I am a fan of the club, I grew up there, and especially because we are in a unmissable period in terms of seeing their great players, especially one (Lionel Messi).

“I am happy that in Italy, Napoli are playing in a quite similar way. I identify quite well with how they play and how they want to do things.

“It’s the same with Tottenham. Tottenham can drop points, but always I see the games and think: ‘They played well’. You always see they have 20, 25, 27 shots on target. And you see that and say: Wow.”

LIVERPOOL TRADITION

Jurgen Klopp 7

Guardiola includes Liverpool, City’s opponents on Sunday, in the list of high-quality attacking teams in the Premier League.

“I think Liverpool are playing like Liverpool were in the past, with all their history,” Guardiola said.

“The fans are demanding attacking football. Liverpool have to defend their whole history.

“In the 1980s, they dominated the world and European football. I think they are trying to respect that.

“Some teams try to sit back against us. Liverpool played well against us. They tried. We want to do something quite similar. We want to try to be the best.”

Few would expect City to stumble in this season’s contest for the Premier League title, given they are currently 15 points clear at the top, yet Guardiola has warned it is still possible.

“In football and in sport, anything can happen. Of course, we can lose the title, because you never know what is going to happen in the next 13 or 14 games.

“If we maintain our level, the consistency and the way we play, then OK, we have a chance. But you never know.”

The Spaniard added: “If we start to go down, and lose confidence, and don’t play well regularly, then we will see.

“Maybe that is going to happen, and I am going to shake the hand of my opponents and congratulate them for being champions.

“You will always be judged on the result. I always try to say to the players: ‘Don’t read too much about what is done’.

“It is simple: Just focus on the next game. That is the best advice I can give to my players. That’s the reason why I’m here – to talk to them.”

Provided by AFP Sport

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Antonio Conte coming under pressure at Chelsea and other things learned from 0-0 draw with Leicester

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Chelsea‘s poor form of late continued as they could only manage a 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge against Leicester City on Saturday.

The Premier League champions were unable to break the deadlock and were fortunate not to conceded themselves.

Here’s what we learned from the encounter.

MORATA WOES PERSIST

The good news for Alvaro Morata is that he didn’t add to his six one-on-one misses over the previous two games. The bad news is that he didn’t even do enough to get into a decent goal-scoring position.

The Spaniard struggled to get involved in the game. His best moment came when he ran down the left flank, got to the byline and forced a corner.

He failed to register a single shot on goal despite playing the full 90 minutes and his touch let him down on a few occasions as well. He’s now gone five games without scoring, compounding Chelsea’s goal-scoring woes.

Alvaro Morata

Alvaro Morata

CONTE NO LONGER SITTING PRETTY

Antonio Conte is starting to come under pressure at Stamford Bridge after a second listless 0-0 draw within days. The Italian was criticised for his lack of attacking play against a depleted Arsenal side in their midweek League Cup semi-final clash at home.

The Blues were equally underwhelming in the final third against Leicester and in fact were lucky not to concede with the home support growing frustrated with their side.

There were several moans and groans around the Bridge over the course of the game as the home team failed to create anything of note.

Conte’s bold decision to sub off both Cesc Fabregas and Eden Hazard before the hour-mark was also met with discontent and was a move that ultimately didn’t pay off.

Antonio Conte

Antonio Conte

MAHREZ THE SPARK CHELSEA NEED

Riyadh Mahrez has been in phenomenal form and delivered another masterclass against Chelsea.

He may not have helped Leicester break the deadlock but he was the one who looked most likely to. The Algerian was different class, weaving his way past blue shirts and creating chance after chance.

His acceleration, touch and vision had the Chelsea defence scrambling. With Hazard often being crowded out, Chelsea could do with another creative force cut from the same cloth and Mahrez certainly fits that billing.

It’s a known fact that he’s been angling for a move away from Leicester since the end of their title-winning campaign and while he’s been consistently linked with a move to Arsenal, perhaps Chelsea should’ve lodged an interest.

Will they end up regretting opting for Ross Barkley instead?

Riyad Mahrez

Riyad Mahrez

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Chelsea held to frustrating goalless draw against Leicester at Stamford Bridge

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Chelsea endured a third successive goalless draw in an enthralling encounter against excellent 10-man Leicester.

Antonio Conte had been wary of the Foxes and his concern proved well founded as the movement and energy of Riyad Mahrez, Jamie Vardy and Shinji Okazaki troubled Chelsea.

Leicester were relentless, playing like champions, with the intensity of their pressing forcing mistakes.

Ben Chilwell was sent off for two bookable offences in quick succession, leaving the visitors down to 10 men with 22 minutes remaining.

Yet still Chelsea, who had won their previous seven Premier League home games since September’s loss to Manchester City, could not break the Foxes down as the Blues followed stalemates with Norwich and Arsenal with a third in a week.

Conte tinkered with his defence for the visit of Chelsea’s predecessors as champions.

David Luiz was Conte’s first choice in the centre of his back three in last season’s title-winning campaign.

Now the Brazilian is apparently not even second choice as Gary Cahill was deployed in the central role, with Andreas Christensen rested on the bench alongside Luiz.

Cahill lasted just 33 minutes before going off clutching his right hamstring.

He had been given a torrid time by Vardy, who showed no signs of the groin injury which deprived him of a return to his former club Fleetwood a week ago.

The Foxes cut through their hosts time and again, with left-back Chilwell creating chances for Okazaki and Vardy, who next dragged an effort wide across goal.

Wilfred Ndidi’s free header was saved by Thibaut Courtois before Cesc Fabregas forced a save from Kasper Schmeichel at the other end.

Only a well-timed Cahill tackle stopped Mahrez from shooting following a mazy run and then Eden Hazard should have punished the Foxes at the other end, only to shoot tamely at Schmeichel.

A race with Vardy culminated in Cahill stretching for the ball before hobbling off. Christensen went on, with Luiz not even asked to warm up.

Mahrez then drilled the ball across goal, but there was no-one in a black and gold shirt to convert.

Vardy then robbed Antonio Rudiger inside his own box. The ball went to Okazaki, whose effort was blocked into the path of Marc Albrighton. He fired wide.

Schmeichel saved from Fabregas before the break and Leicester continued to pressurise their hosts on the resumption.

Vardy nicked the ball off Christensen and found Mahrez, who initiated contact by kicking the Denmark defender.

The Foxes forward went to ground, seeking a penalty, but referee Mike Jones was unmoved and not inclined to dole out a yellow card for diving.

Mahrez next blasted a shot into Christensen and it deflected wide.

Conte had seen enough and made his final two changes. Willian and Pedro were sent on for the ineffective Hazard and Fabregas.

Willian lured a foul from Chilwell, who was booked after 63 minutes.

The left-back then caught Victor Moses late and was sent off after 68 minutes.

Long-range shots from Kante and Tiemoue Bakayoko were symptomatic of Chelsea’s struggles to break Leicester down.

And Schmeichel turned a Marcos Alonso free-kick behind for a corner in stoppage time as Chelsea missed their last chance.

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