Chelsea vs Manchester City: Antonio Conte hails Pep Guardiola as world's best manager

Vaishali Bhardwaj

Antonio Conte has returned Pep Guardiola's compliment about probably being the best manager around, saying the Manchester City coach "really is the best in the world".

Both Conte and Guardiola are in the midst of their debut seasons in England, with the latter this week calling his Chelsea counterpart "superb" and "maybe" one of the best around because of his ability to make his teams play attractive, attack-minded football while remaining defensively solid.

Indeed, Conte's Chelsea side secured a 3-1 win over Guardiola's men at the Etihad Stadium in December before the league leaders beat City 2-1 on Wednesday night to remain seven points clear of second-placed Tottenham.

After the game, which keeps City 14 points behind Chelsea, Conte was asked how he felt about becoming the first manager to do the double in the league over a side managed by Guardiola.

"I don't know this but it means Pep is really the best in the world," Conte replied.

"If he never lost two games in his career, it means he's great and shows he's really the best."

The comments came after Guardiola had sung Conte's praises over his coaching style.

"My opinion about my colleague Conte is that he's superb," he had said on Tuesday.

"He was able to make Italy play beautiful football - Juventus too - in a culture where it's so defensive.

"He's an excellent manager, I learn a lot when I see his teams - Juventus, Italy and now. I like to do that because you see what they want to do. Their teams control a lot of aspects.

"Maybe he's the best."

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