Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel says Manchester City and Bayern Munich are setting the ‘benchmark’ in Europe


Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has hailed Manchester City and Bayern Munich (Picture: CFC)

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel says Manchester City and Bayern Munich are setting the ‘benchmark’ in Europe.

Man City are on the verge of winning the Premier League title, storming 11 points clear of second-placed Manchester United with six matches of the 2020-21 season remaining.

Pep Guardiola’s side have also reached the semi-finals of the Champions League and face Paris Saint-Germain for a place in the final, where they will meet domestic rivals Chelsea if Tuchel’s side knock out Real Madrid.

PSG reached the semi-finals at the expense of holders Bayern Munich but Tuchel still rates the German club as one of the two best teams in Europe along with Manchester City.

While Bayern suffered a quarter-final exit in the Champions League, they look set to win a record-extending 31st Bundesliga title.

Tuchel said: ‘In Europe, for me there are two teams that are the benchmark: Manchester City and Bayern Munich.

‘We have to accept there is a gap between us and Manchester City. If you look at the fixtures in the last few years we have to accept it, but without making us feel too small.

Man City are on the verge of winning the Premier League (Picture: Getty)

‘From day one of next season we will hunt them and try to close the gap.’

Tuchel was speaking ahead of Chelsea’s FA Cup semi-final tie against runaway Premier League leaders Man City on Saturday.

The former PSG and Borussia Dortmund manager has never beaten a Guardiola team in five attempts and expects a ‘high intensity match’ at Wembley.

‘I don’t think these teams are chess teams,’ Tuchel said.

‘English football, City’s game, our game is about intensity without the ball. So I expect a high intensity match.

‘City define themselves with a clear DNA and style. They want the ball and high ball recoveries. We want that too so we have to fight for these moments and make them suffer.’

Tuchel added: ‘We are in a good moment. We had a setback against West Brom but we had an excellent response.

‘We had tough challenges to face and we did two very good, intense matches. It was a good challenge against Porto.

‘If we manage to beat Manchester City it will be a huge boost. If not we will have to take it as a challenge and opportunity to grow because we have big fights coming up.’

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