The Frenchman has recently been branded a “specialist in failure” by Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho due to not having led the north Londoners to a trophy since 2005.
His teams have his quality and I have to admire the quality of my opponents
But Guardiola has come out in defence of the Arsenal boss ahead of the last-16 first-leg game at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday.
“My opinion on Arsene is that I have a lot of respect [for him],” Guardiola said. “His teams have his quality and I have to admire the quality of my opponents.
“We are going to play one team that has all the season been up [leading the league], so now they are third or second in the league, but in the beginning [they were] there.
“It is a typical team that always puts in a good performance in the Champions League.
“The last eight, nine or 10 years they have been in the Champions League and they are a special team with [Santi] Cazorla, [Mesut] Ozil, [Jack] Wilshere, [Alex] Oxlade-Chamberlain, [Aaron] Ramsey.
“They always have good midfield players, with combinations. You [we] have to be good in both sides in our defensive movements and try to understand their game.”
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