football

Manchester City star Phil Foden rates threat of Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea ahead of Champions League final


Manchester City star Phil Foden has been impressed by Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea (Pictures: Getty)

Manchester City’s Phil Foden is wary of the threat of Chelsea ahead of the Champions League final and says the Blues have transformed into ‘such a strong team’ under Thomas Tuchel.

Premier League rivals City and Chelsea meet in Saturday’s European Cup final, with Pep Guardiola’s side bidding to win the competition for the first time and the London club aiming to secure their second title.

Chelsea’s season was threatening to implode under former manager Frank Lampard as they slipped to ninth in the Premier League in January, but Tuchel’s arrival sparked an impressive revival.

The Blues secured a top-four finish despite losing to Aston Villa on the final day of the season, and reached the finals of the Champions League and FA Cup, which they lost to Leicester City earlier this month.

Chelsea have beaten Manchester City twice in the last six weeks – once in the Premier League and once in the FA Cup – and Foden insists the Blues present a ‘really big challenge’ ahead of this weekend’s Champions League showpiece.

‘Since he [Thomas Tuchel] has come in, they’ve been such a strong team; barely lost any games, and obviously they beat us recently,’ Foden told UEFA.

‘So, we know what they’re about now and it’s going to be a really big challenge in the final, but it’s just a one-off game, anything can happen.

Chelsea v Manchester City: Thomas Tuchel speaks before Champions League final

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‘[My family] just keep telling me that they can’t believe that I’m going to play in the Champions League final.’

Foden has enjoyed a superb season at the Etihad, scoring 18 goals and making 10 assists in all competitions to help Man City storm to the Premier League title and win the EFL Cup.

Another major trophy could be on the horizon for the England star, who is relishing playing under successful manager Guardiola.

‘Everyone knows he’s one of the best coaches to ever be out there,’ Foden added.

‘Just to play under him is very special, and not with just me, with everyone; he gives them the freedom to play; he just loves playing out from the back, and playing beautiful football.

Thomas Tuchel meets Pep Guardiola in the 2021 Champions League final (Picture: Getty)

‘It suits my style a lot and I’m just happy to keep working with him, and keep improving.

‘I used to watch Barcelona as a kid: it was unbelievable. The way he set them up and how they played one-touch and two-touch football was unbelievable, and I never would have thought that he would be my coach some day.

‘I just remember always watching [them] with my dad and thinking: “Wow! What a team this is and what a coach they have!”

‘He has tried to bring that kind of football here and it seems to be working.’

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