Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel says he can ‘understand’ Pep Guardiola’s recent suggestion that ‘everyone supports’ Liverpool.
The Manchester City manager aimed at the dig at the Reds after his table-topping team beat Newcastle United in the Premier League last weekend. He claimed everyone, including the media, is on second-placed Liverpool’s side in the title race.
And when asked about Guardiola’s comments ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup final between the Reds and Chelsea, Tuchel admitted he ‘understands’ where the Spaniard is coming from.
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“I can understand why he made it,” said Tuchel. “I can understand why he has that feeling. In general, I would say it is hard to really argue with it. I believe I can understand what he meant.
“There are huge sympathies for Liverpool. I feel that as well, in the whole country. If you fight against it, like Pep, for many, many years, I can understand the comment that it sometimes feels like this. But at the same time, I don’t think it’s only here. It’s in Germany like this and in France, too.”
Liverpool will look to secure their second domestic trophy of the campaign with a win over the London club on Saturday in what will be a repeat of February’s Carabao Cup final. But the Chelsea boss said his side do not want the backing of the country – they just have eyes on the prize.
Tuchel added: “You know (Reds boss Jurgen) Klopp is the master of being the underdog. He can talk you into being the underdog against Villarreal and against Benfica, and it’s a miracle, miracle how they even draw against them.
“He can talk you into it and he does it all the time, he does it a lot of times. That’s part of it. That’s also like from where the sympathy comes. There’s nothing to be jealous of from my side, Klopp is a fantastic guy, funny guy, one of the very, very best coaches in the world and that’s what he does.
“When he trained Dortmund, the whole country loved Dortmund. So now he trains Liverpool and you have the feeling the whole country loves Liverpool. It’s big, big, big credit to him and this is what you deal with when you play a team against him. It’s always like this, but it’s always the fun part and so if we are the bad guys tomorrow, then no problem.
“We take that role, we don’t want to have the sympathy of the country tomorrow, we want to have the trophy.”