·26 January 2023
·26 January 2023
Pep Guardiola has recounted the story of when Arsenal came to his aide ahead of his Barcelona side’s meeting with Manchester United in the 2011 Champions League final at Wembley.
Guardiola will come head to head with his former assistant Mikel Arteta in the FA Cup fourth round on Friday, who has guided Arsenal to five points clear of City at the top of the Premier League table at the halfway stage of the season.
Guardiola has been full of praise for Arteta and ahead of the game, also recalled the occasion that Arsenal were happy to allow his Barcelona team to use their training facilities, which helped them to beat United in the final.
“I’ve never been to Arsenal. Except for one day when they allowed us to use their facilities to train – to win the Champions League against United,” Guardiola revealed.
“It’s the only time I’ve been to the training centre of Arsenal. Sorry United!”
Arsenal boss Arteta hailed his Spanish compatriot as his “inspiration” ahead of the game and when told by reporters of Arteta’s glowing reference, Guardiola joked: “I’m so good.
“If you said to me that they play with the full back inside with Alex [Zinchenko] that we started doing here? Then yes.
“They play in the pockets with Xhaka and another one? Then yes.
“They play with wingers higher than the midfielders play like us? Yes.
“But all the methodology, the process, with the character, the mentality, set pieces it all belongs to them [Arsenal]. It’s zero to do with me.”
Tonight is the first of three meetings between the two clubs this season, with both Premier League clashes in the weeks to come likely to determine who will be crowned champions at the end of the season.
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