Tuesday, 19 June, 2018

Chelsea's performance against Man City was a 'crime against football'

Antonio Conte passed on questions about Chelsea's ambitions in the future after admitting a top-four place is their current priority Antonio Conte passed on questions about Chelsea's ambitions in the future after admitting a top-four place is their current priority
Cassandra Gardner | 06 March, 2018, 01:53

They have a great mentality and we must give the best compliment for Manchester City.

"I tried to wait because the substitution was with Hazard and you hope until the end that a player like Hazard can invent something", Conte said.

Chelsea had all to fight for today.

"I was critical of Newcastle before Christmas because I thought in the first half hour of that game, the intent was really poor".

Asked if he foresaw such blistering form in the Premier League at the start of the season, Guardiola said: "No way!"

'I'm not so stupid to play open against Manchester City and lose 3-0 or 4-0, ' said Conte.

"It's not good enough [the lack of shots on target] but this is the truth". It just is not right.

"We had to control the counter-attacks, Hazard, Willian and Pedro are all quick players but we controlled it and we were quick with the ball, nobody was making extra passes or extra touches". My tactics were to not concede space between the lines, if you do that you risk losing by many goals.

The Premier League title holders, who played without a recognised striker for 78 minutes, ceded 71 per cent of possession to the champions elect and failed to register a single shot on target as they suffered defeat, thanks to Bernardo Silva's goal early in the second half. They have to, because sometimes I can not reach them during a game.

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Silva has assisted 73 Premier League goals since his debut in August 2010, 20 more than any other player in that time.

In driving rain, and with Chelsea mysteriously refusing to take off the handbrake, they were able to close out a victory that will, in its own way, have brought as much pleasure to Guardiola as numerous more spectacular wins this season. No way. Who could believe it?

This time, it was 1-0 against Chelsea following a pair of 3-0 defeats of Arsenal.

Chelsea, missing key midfielder N'Golo Kante, just about survived the first half, only to concede immediately after the restart when David Silva crossed for Bernardo Silva to force in a finish at the far post. "When the team struggles for confidence it's even more hard".

Bernardo Silva's goal lifts Man City over Chelsea, keeping City unbeaten this season at the Etihad. Moses blazed his shot way wide.

Conte chose to bring in Oliver Giroud in the 78th minute for Willian, and then put in Emerson for Pedro Rodriguez just four minutes later. These are not small games.

An important block by Antonio Rudiger stopped Leroy Sane guiding David Silva's cross home, before Aguero was unable to get a shot away after a loose pass in the box from Cesc Fabregas, selected in place of the ill N'Golo Kante, gifted the hosts the ball in a unsafe area.

It also left the reigning champions 25 points behind leaders City and Conte admitted the game emphasised the current gulf in class between the sides.

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