Premier League English

‘If he believes that’ – Pep Guardiola gets sarcastic with Mauricio Pochettino after Argentine’s bloated appraisal of Blues with Man City draw

Pep Guardiola appeared to direct a dig with just the slightest hint of sarcasm at Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino after the Premier League draw at the Etihad Stadium, after the latter buoyantly praised his team’s performance.

Chelsea were able to hold Guardiola’s side to a 1-1 stalemate at the Etihad Stadium, complimentary of the Cityzens not fully finding their feet in the first half. Raheem Sterling subsequently opened the scoring for the Londoners in the first half and an eventual Rodri strike in the final minutes of the contest rescued a valuable point for Guardiola’s team.

Pochettino spoke to BBC Match of the Day after the game, where he explained how “pleased” and “proud” he was of Chelsea’s performance. The remarks from Pochettino were put to Guardiola, and the City boss appeared to aim a dig at the Chelsea manager.

“Good, congratulations,” Guardiola told BBC Match of the Day when informed of Pochettino’s comments. “If he believes that, that is good for his team.”

“We knew it [Chelsea would be a challenge],” Guardiola added. “That was a good game.

“We played incredible in the second half. The first half was not our levels but to compete against them teams you have to play 90 minutes not just one half.”

Pochettino gave his take on being happy with Chelsea’s performance against City, particularly in the first half and pronounced City as the best team in world football with his analysis of the performance.

“I’m so pleased. I told the players I feel so proud,” said Pochettino. “In the last three games we’ve started to create a very good spirit. That’s the way we want to build our team. Today was a very good opportunity to show we’re going where we want.

“The first half was really, really good. We only conceded one chance – against a team like Manchester City who, for me, are the best team in the world.

“In the second half they force you to go deep, but we created chances to score the second goal and things could have been different. It’s important that the players realise that football is really competitive and to reach the level we want, we need to suffer.”

City are now four points behind leaders Liverpool in the Premier League table although with a game in hand still. They will square off against Brentford in midweek, before travelling to face Bournemouth next weekend.