Pep Guardiola has praised his former charges Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko ahead of his side’s meeting with Arsenal in the FA Cup on Friday.
THE LOWDOWN: FRIENDS CLASH ON THE SIDELINES
Both teams were drawn against each other in the fourth round of the FA Cup and they will clash at the Etihad stadium tonight. It will be the first of three matches between both teams between then and the end of February.
Two of those games will come in the Premier League, so the FA Cup meeting will be a preview to those clashes.
It is a very important clash for both teams, who have only five points between them at the top of the Premier League. Arsenal, led by Mikel Arteta, will be feeling the pressure more as a loss to City in the FA Cup will not only take them out of the competition, but could set the tone for a poor February.
Guardiola, however, believes his former protégé is doing well with the team, and especially praised his former charges Jesus and Zinchenko for their amazing seasons at Arsenal.
THE LATEST: NO REGRETS OVER TRANSFER DECISION
Asked if he regrets letting Zinchenko and Jesus join Arsenal, Guardiola replied, “Why? Because they are winning?
“They have been amazing for us, we have incredible respect for them as people first and as footballers.
“Of course we want to beat them, but all the success they’ve had, I’m more than delighted. Both clubs agreed and that’s all.”
THE VERDICT: CITY’S LOSS IS ARSENAL’S GAIN
Both players were squad players while at City but have proven to be undisputed starters at Arsenal. Such is the case of footballers, where they struggle to impose themselves at one club and thrive at another.
In the case of Zinchenko and Jesus though, both players always had the quality but were more or less unfortunate to have stiff competition in their respective positions while playing under Guardiola.
Both players are now leaders at Arsenal and have not only brought their technical abilities but also their winning mentality to the Emirates Stadium. City’s loss is now Arsenal’s gain and come the end of the season, it seems like the reigning champions might have played a part in their own misfortunes but time will tell.