CLAUDE Puel will be targeting a very different outcome when he meets Pep Guardiola once more on Saturday.

There are many parallels to be drawn as Puel and Guardiola lock horns when Manchester City roll up to the south coast.

It was in both managers’ opening campaigns in charge of Lyon and Barcelona respectively that the pair first clashed in March 2009, in the Champions League last 16.

This time around it is Puel and Guardiola’s first campaigns at clubs in England.

And, similar to that European match-up eight years ago, the first game between the two sides ended in a 1-1 draw.

Lyon took the lead through Brazilian Juninho, but Arsenal legend Thierry Henry struck back for the Catalans in the second half, making it all square heading to the second leg at the Nou Camp.

It was back in October, just a few days after Saints had travelled to the San Siro and lost 1-0 against Inter Milan in the Europa League group stages, that the spoils were shared at the Etihad as Guardiola and Puel went head-to-head.

Much like the game back in 2009, Puel’s side took the lead, with Nathan Redmond capitalising on John Stones’ sloppy back pass to round Claudio Bravo and hit home on 27 minutes.

Kelechi Iheanacho then saved City’s day in the second half to record a 1-1 draw.

Now, as the Frenchman and the Spaniard face off again, it will be the former hoping for a little less deja vu.


Because the second leg of that Champions League tie ended in a 5-2 defeat for Lyon and Puel.

Guardiola’s men did have to withstand a brave comeback to advance to the quarter-finals, but Lyon were soundly beaten 5-2 (6-3 on aggregate).

On Guardiola, Puel said: "The opportunity to play a great manager is very interesting.

"We played in the Champions League before.

"I knew Pep when he started with Barcelona. I played against him while I was at Lyon.

"He was a young trainer then, but his team was fantastic.

"We drew at home, and unfortunately lost 5-2 at Barcelona, but it was fantastic to see his team, his players.

"They had a good recovery of the ball, high up the pitch.

"Pep Guardiola changed all football and gave more opportunities for a trainer to think about football; the recovery of the ball high up the pitch.

"We can see all the teams trying to play like this, and have good possession. I have a lot respect for Pep."

He continued: "He has a good philosophy in football.

"The team try to have possession and to give always a good response on the game.

"The aesthetic of football is very important for him.

"He’s an example for a lot of trainers, and he can win Spanish and German leagues, and in the future England."