There is something about facing Manchester City and Pep Guardiola that seems to bring the very best out of Thomas Tuchel.
After guiding Chelsea to a 1-0 win over the Premier League champions-elect in their FA Cup semi-final showdown at Wembley last month.
The Blues got the better of City again yesterday evening, coming from behind to beat them 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium, further bolstering their hopes of securing a top-four finish this season.
Second half goals from Hakim Ziyech and Marcos Alonso turned the game in the Blues’ favour after Raheem Sterling close-range tap-in had handed City a 1-0 advantage at half time.
City, though, could have headed into the interval 2-0 up had Sergio Aguero not been denied from the penalty spot by Chelsea shot-stopper Edouard Mendy.
With Tuchel having recorded two wins from two against City since he took charge of Chelsea towards the end of January.
The German will now be praying that the same outcome occurs when the two sides meet again towards the end of this month, which, of course, will see them go head-to-head in the battle to win the UEFA Champions League.
While it is every manager’s dream to be involved in a Champions League final, the feeling will not be too unfamiliar for either Tuchel or his counterpart Pep Guardiola.
That is because, between them, the duo have been involved in three Champions League finals in the past, with Tuchel’s one and only appearance coming as recently as last season, when he guided Paris Saint-Germain to the final, only to be beaten 1-0 by Bayern Munich.
Tuchel’s one and only appearance in a Champions League final as a manager ended in disappointment, but Guardiola has won the two finals he has appeared in as a manager, guiding Barcelona to glory against Manchester United in both 2009 and 2011.
With the Spaniard now looking to make it a hat-trick of Champions League titles on his CV, Tuchel will be doing everything to stop him and secure the first of his managerial career.
Ahead of kick-off at the Etihad Stadium yesterday evening, both Tuchel and Guardiola were spotted locked in deep conversation by the side of the pitch, raising questions about what they could possibly be discussing.
Then, ahead of kick-off, Tuchel was asked the question about what they had been talking about, prompting him to deliver a tongue-in-cheek response.
The Chelsea boss, when speaking to Sky Sports about his pre-match conversation with Guardiola, joked: “He told me the tactics of the Champions League final, I now know everything!
“We had a long relationship from Munich, he was at Dortmund and Mainz.
“Yes, he is a good guy.”
With Guardiola’s 100 per cent record in Champions League finals, Tuchel would probably love to learn a thing or two about how to produce the goods on the biggest stage of all.
At the same time, though, Tuchel clearly has the knowhow of how to get the better of the Spaniard, winning two out of two since his arrival in England.
Prior to that, however, Tuchel had drawn one and lost four of his previous five meetings with the City boss during their respective spells in Germany.
However, they have never faced each other in a European clash.