Thomas Tuchel says Chelsea ‘will hunt’ Manchester City down next season

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has conceded there is a gap between his side and Manchester City ahead of their FA Cup semi-final clash, though they intend to hunt Pep Guardiola’s men down next season.

The Blues have been in fine form since Tuchel’s arrival in January – losing just two of their 18 outings in all competitions – yet they still find themselves a whopping 20 points behind City in the Premier League.

Thomas Tuchel has revitalised Chelsea's seasonThomas Tuchel has revitalised Chelsea's season
Thomas Tuchel has revitalised Chelsea’s season | Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Chelsea were soundly beaten 3-1 when the two sides met at Stamford Bridge just weeks prior to Tuchel’s appointment, while their meetings in recent years have included a 6-0 hammering at the Etihad Stadium back in 2019.

The Blues come face to face with the Premier League champions elect in the FA Cup semi-final on Saturday, and Tuchel has pulled no punches over the fact City are currently a better team than Chelsea – though he intends to do something about it next season.

“We have to accept there is a gap between us and Manchester City,” he told BBC Sport. “If you look at the fixture in the Premier League and the fixtures in the last years we have to accept this.

“And it’s important that we accept this without making ourselves too small. From day one of next season we will hunt them. We will try to close the gap between us.”

Despite admitting Guardiola’s side are the better of the two, Tuchel insisted his players can’t let that impact their performance at Wembley on Saturday.

“We have to admit there is a gap but for 90 minutes we are very self-aware and very self-confident that we believe we can close the gap tomorrow for one game,” he said.

Tuchel continued to lavish praise on Guardiola, adding that he was a big admirer of the Catalan boss’ work during his time with La Liga behemoths Barcelona.

“When he was coach at Barcelona I didn’t have the chance to know him personally, but I was watching almost every game,” he added. “I was very impressed by the way they made success happen, by the style they were playing, all the academy guys, the offensive ball possession.”