Roberto De Zerbi stated Pep Guardiola is “nonetheless No 1” and revealed the Manchester Metropolis boss impressed him to grow to be 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 crucial 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 sport, and stated he nonetheless regards the previous Barcelona and Bayern Munich because the world’s greatest.
“I turned a coach due to him,” he stated to Sky Sports activities. “I do not know if it is a good factor or not, however I turned a coach for him as a result of I liked 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 pleased 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 Metropolis is all the time robust. We performed very effectively, we deserved to make our level – and we need to play within the Europa League.
“When the scenario was tough we did not lose our model. To press Man Metropolis man to man on each facet 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 attainable 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 needed to work and analyse the workforce, the gamers, perceive a brand new nation, a brand new league. After which, in February, I began to consider the purpose.
“I am fortunate as a result of I discovered a incredible group of gamers. I am an excellent 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 in addition acknowledged his satisfaction at how his facet carried out so quickly after celebrating their Premier League title triumph.
“Distinctive sport,” he informed Sky Sports activities. “Congratulations to Brighton for his or her deserved qualification to the Europa League.
“The sport we performed, 40 hours after I feel we drank all of the alcohol in Manchester, confirmed the explanation why we’re the champion. I did not see any drop of depth in our thought. That they had probabilities, we had probabilities.
“This workforce destroy the opposite opponents, the best way they play, they usually did in sure moments tonight, particularly the final 10 or quarter-hour of the primary half, once we struggled. However the second half, we adjusted and we did rather well.
“It is regular that we may drop factors or somewhat little bit of depth being champion, however I did not see it. Now, in the course of the week, we’ve to relaxation and get better mentally.”
Rosenior: De Zerbi an absolute genius
Former Brighton defender and present Hull Metropolis supervisor Liam Rosenior was a part of the Sky Sports activities punditry workforce, and was left in awe of what he noticed from the 2 sides, describing De Zerbi as an “absolute genius” for the way he has reworked 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 1 with the very best striker on the planet, that is the bravery,” he stated.
“That claims the whole lot about the best way De Zerbi is teaching this workforce. I feel he is an absolute genius.
“I do know Pep stated it yesterday, and I’ll 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 workforce is one thing totally different, one thing new in frightening the press in the best way they construct, they scored once more from the goalkeeper tonight.”