Pep Guardiola vs Carlo Ancelotti: Complete head-to-head record

Carlo Ancelotti and Pep Guardiola may align themselves at different points on the philosophical spectrum, but they’re each regarded as two of the most influential managers in the sport’s history.

Both stellar midfielders during their playing days, Ancelotti and Guardiola claimed Champions League glory at the turn of the 90s and both have gone on to master the competition as managers. However, Guardiola’s two successes pale in comparison to Ancelotti’s four. After guiding Real Madrid to continental glory in 2022, the wily Italian became the most successful manager in Champions League history.

The mutual respect between the two great thinkers is evident, with their meetings as managers showing how the pendulum can swing one way and then the other.


The first meeting between the two managers saw Ancelotti’s Real run out 1-0 winners / DANI POZO/GettyImages

Pep did a pretty good job of avoiding Ancelotti at the start of his manegerial career as he helped Barcelona to two Champions League titles in 2009 and 2011.

His first meeting against Ancelotti came after he’d made the switch to Bayern, who took on Don Carlo’s Real in the 2013/14 Champions League semi-finals.

Die Roten dominated possession in the first leg but struggled in the final third and the contest was decided by an early Karim Benzema strike.

“I got it wrong, man. I got it totally wrong. It’s a monumental f*** up. A total mess. The biggest f*** up of my life as a coach.”

Guardiola doesn’t get much wrong, but when he does, he f***s up big time. This was perhaps the most memorable of those occasions.

Without an away goal heading into the second leg, Bayern needed to turn things around as Real visited the Allianz. Reflecting on his side’s toothless showing at the Bernabeu, Pep opted to change tack for the return leg. The possibility of a 3-4-3 and 4-2-3-1 ran through his mind before deciding on a suicidal 4-2-4.

“You are German, so be German and attack,” an emotional Guardiola told his players pre-match.

Disaster ensued as the Spaniard went against his ideals and relinquished control in midfield. Pep’s bravery played into Ancelotti’s hands, and Real ran riot at the Allianz to inflict the biggest defeat of Guardiola’s managerial career.

Remember when Ancelotti was supposedly on the decline after taking the Everton job in the wake of his Napoli exit? Seems like a long time ago now, huh?

Anyway, Guardiola had avoided the Italian for almost six years before they met again. This time in the Premier League.

2019/20 was a pretty difficult season for City as Liverpool waltzed to the title, but Guardiola did score his first victory over Ancelotti on New Year’s Day 2020.

Gabriel Jesus scored twice for the Citizens in the second half.


Guardiola got the better of Ancelotti in all of their Premier League meetings / JON SUPER/GettyImages

The Ancelotti era at Everton was luminous compared to what has happened after his departure. However, the Toffees were rarely a match for Pep’s juggernaut.

City returned to their very best in the 2020/21 season and they extended their lead at the top of the table to ten points with a 3-1 victory at Goodison Park in February.

Richarlison cancelled out Phil Foden’s opener, but second-half strikes from Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva ensured the visitors took all three points back to Manchester.

City were similarly comfortable when they returned to Goodison Park a month after their league victory in Merseyside.

Ancelotti overcame Jose Mourinho in a thrilling FA Cup tie to set up this quarter-final clash against City, but their journey came to an end in the closing stages when Ilkay Gundogan headed home in the 84th minute.

Kevin De Bruyne added a second in the final minute of normal time as City progressed into the semis.

The Guardiola/Ancelotti duel took a backseat here. This contest was all about Sergio Aguero.

City had already put Everton to the sword by the time the Argentine was introduced to proceedings in the second half, and City’s all-time record goalscorer scored twice on his final appearance for the club to put the finishing touches on a memorable career at the Etihad.

Even Martin Tyler was enthused!

Real certainly didn’t give Ancelotti a call as a result of his stellar work at Goodison Park, but they knew exactly the sort of manager that was required to maximise their squad’s potential.

Los Blancos had won just one La Liga title in four seasons and hadn’t lifted the Champions League since 2018 (a serious lean period by their modern standards) when Ancelotti returned for a second stint in charge.

The laissez-faire Italian worked wonders during his first campaign back as Real won the Spanish title and embarked on a Champions League campaign for the ages. They’d overcome PSG and Chelsea in dramatic fashion to set up a semi-final tie with Pep’s City.

The Citizens should’ve been out of sight in a thrilling first leg, but Real kept coming back at them. The hosts had leads of 2-0, 3-1 and 4-2 on the night before a Karim Benzema panenka cut the deficit to one ahead of the return leg.

City looked for all money to advance into their second-straight Champions League final when Mahrez gave them the lead on the night with 20 minutes remaining.

But, once again, Ancelotti’s stoicism paid dividends. He’d brought on Rodygo before City’s opener, and it was the Brazilian who inspired Real’s last-gasp comeback.

The winger scored twice in two minutes at the death to send the game to stoppage time before a Benzema penalty thrust Real into the final where they were crowned European champions for a 14th time.

“Football is unpredictable, and sometimes you have to accept it,” Guardiola said after his record sixth Champions League semi-final exit.

Pep Guardiola vs Carlo Ancelotti H2H record

Goals scored

Top scorers in Pep Guardiola vs Carlo Ancelotti fixtures


Team represented


Gabriel Jesus

Manchester City


Karim Benzema

Real Madrid


Kevin De Bruyne

Manchester City