Roberto De Zerbi stated Pep Guardiola is “nonetheless No 1” and revealed the Manchester City boss impressed him to turn into a coach, after Brighton held the champions to a 1-1 draw.
Guardiola lavished reward on his reverse quantity within the build-up to the sport on the Amex Stadium, describing the 43-year-old Italian, who has guided Brighton into subsequent 12 months’s Europa League, as “one of the influential managers” of the final 20 years.
De Zerbi responded after the pair had gone face to face on the south coast, the place Julio Enciso’s beautiful purpose cancelled out Phil Foden’s opener in a frenetic recreation, and stated he nonetheless regards the previous Barcelona and Bayern Munich because the world’s finest.
“I grew to become a coach due to him,” he stated to Sky Sports. “I do not know if it is a good factor or not, however I grew to become a coach for him as a result of I cherished his Barcelona and I studied him so much.
“I do not love to repeat anyone, however I took [things from him] after I began to be a coach, and earlier than, additionally, after I completed as a participant. Pep remains to be No 1.”
The draw ensured Brighton will end in sixth place, making this the very best season within the membership’s historical past, and De Zerbi was happy with the “braveness” his gamers confirmed in going toe to toe with Guardiola’s.
“It was very robust,” he stated. “We knew to play towards Man City is all the time robust. We performed very effectively, we deserved to make our level – and we should play within the Europa League.
“When the state of affairs was troublesome we did not lose our fashion. To press Man City man to man on each aspect of the pitch, I feel that’s braveness.”
De Zerbi, who additionally praised Enciso’s beautiful equaliser as “unimaginable”, admitted he didn’t really feel a Europa League end was potential when he took the job following Graham Potter’s departure in September.
“No, however I did not take into consideration the desk,” he stated. “I wished to work and analyse the group, the gamers, perceive a brand new nation, a brand new league. And then, in February, I began to consider the purpose.
“I’m fortunate as a result of I discovered a implausible group of gamers. I’m a superb coach however with out the gamers… When I’ve to analyse one thing in soccer, I all the time begin with the gamers.”
Pep: We drank all of the alcohol in Manchester
Guardiola, in the meantime, as soon as once more talked up De Zerbi’s Brighton after the sport and likewise acknowledged his satisfaction at how his aspect carried out so quickly after celebrating their Premier League title triumph.
“Exceptional recreation,” he instructed Sky Sports. “Congratulations to Brighton for his or her deserved qualification to the Europa League.
“The recreation we performed, 40 hours after I feel we drank all of the alcohol in Manchester, confirmed the rationale why we’re the champion. I did not see any drop of depth in our concept. They had probabilities, we had probabilities.
“This group destroy the opposite opponents, the way in which they play, and so they did in sure moments tonight, particularly the final 10 or quarter-hour of the primary half, after we struggled. But the second half, we adjusted and we did very well.
“It’s regular that we may drop factors or somewhat little bit of depth being champion, however I did not see it. Now, through the week, we’ve to relaxation and recuperate mentally.”
Rosenior: De Zerbi an absolute genius
Former Brighton defender and present Hull City supervisor Liam Rosenior was a part of the Sky Sports punditry group, and was left in awe of what he noticed from the 2 sides, describing De Zerbi as an “absolute genius” for a way he has remodeled Brighton.
“Watching the match as a younger supervisor, the bravery of each coaches, the urgent that they gave to the sport, the actual fact they have been keen to go one to at least one with the very best striker on the planet, that is the bravery,” he stated.
“That says every little thing about the way in which De Zerbi is teaching this group. I feel he is an absolute genius.
“I do know Pep stated it yesterday, and I’m going to say it now, there are particular coaches who come alongside – [Arrigo] Sacchi with Milan, Pep has come alongside and altered the sport…
“What De Zerbi is doing with this Brighton group is one thing totally different, one thing new in upsetting the press in the way in which they construct, they scored once more from the goalkeeper tonight.”