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Jose Mourinho Remains The Only Manager To Beat Pep Guardiola In A Final

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Jose Mourinho Remains The Only Manager To Beat Pep Guardiola In A Final

Pep Guardiola's Manchester City beating Tottenham in the Carabao Cup final means the City manager has now won an incredible 14 finals out of 15.

The only coach who has inflicted defeat on Guardiola in a major final? Jose Mourinho: the very manager Tottenham sacked a week before the Wembley encounter.

Guardiola's lone final setback actually came 10 years ago this month, when he was Barcelona boss and engaged in an intense rivalry with a Mourinho-managed Real Madrid.

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The two sides met in the 2011 Copa del Rey final. A back-and-forth match somehow ended 0-0 after 90 minutes, despite Lionel Messi, David Villa, Cristiano Ronaldo, Angel Di Maria, Andres Iniesta, Xabi Alonso and Pedro all sharing the pitch.

However in extra time, Di Maria swung in a cross and Ronaldo leapt to power in a trademark bullet header into the back of the Barcelona net, sealing a 1-0 win for Real Madrid.

Guardiola's Barcelona had humiliated Real 5-0 earlier in the season, so this gave Mourinho's side a measure of revenge. Though Barca went on to win La Liga in 2011 and the Champions League, knocking Real Madrid out on the way. (Real would go on to win La Liga the following season, Guardiola's last at Barcelona.)

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Of course, Tottenham fans may say that the Mourinho of 2021 wasn't the same coach of the Mourinho of 2011 and was therefore unlikely to be able to repeat the winning trick.

But the fact remains that 'The Special One' got the better of Guardiola the only time the pair have come up against one another in a major final.

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Guardiola's finals record aside from his 2011 setback is flawless. It includes two Champions League wins with Barcelona, two Copa del Reys, two DFB-Pokals with Bayern Munich, an FA Cup and four successive League Cups with Manchester City, plus three Club World Cups (two with Barca, one with Bayern).

That doesn't even include one-off games such as the Community Shield or the UEFA Super Cup.

His record is so impressive even Gary Neville, who played his whole club career under Sir Alex Ferguson, has suggested Guardiola might go down as the greatest manager ever.

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And only one coach has bested him in 15 finals; someone Tottenham chose to fire in the build-up to Sunday's match, replacing him with Ryan Mason as temporary boss.

Perhaps Pep's City would have been too overwhelmingly strong, no matter what.

But the word 'Spursy' does unfortunately leap to mind.

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Image credit: PA Images

Topics: Manchester City, Jose Mourinho, Tottenham Hotspur, Pep Guardiola, Barcelona, Copa del Rey, Real Madrid

Alex Reid
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