Brilliant City masking the league's overall lack of quality

Posted March 07, 2018

The fading champions' recent slump in form continued as they limped to a lacklustre 1-0 defeat at runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City on Sunday.

Conte's side were flattered by the scoreline at the Etihad Stadium.

Pat added that a very direct approach at the end could have paid dividends for Chelsea: "I just would have liked to have gone a bit more British at the end and I hate myself for saying it but stick on Giroud and maybe Morata for 20 minutes at the end and just lump it".

With nine games remaining, City who are on 78 points, have a chance to become the first team to break the 100-points barrier in the history of the English top flight. Obviously we could have done better but these are not small games. We still feel we are not there where we want to be, but we are quite happy at the moment.

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"Since we were together here with Sergio, the last month and a half, two months, is the best Sergio I have seen".

A costly defeat has left the Blues fifth in the Premier League table, with Wise acknowledging that their season - with Champions League qualification a must - is likely to rest on a London derby date with Tottenham.

We have to go game by game, try to win all of them and qualify for the Champions League.

Pep's side set a new Premier League record for the most passes completed (209) in a single game, as Chelsea looked frightened to attack and sat back in a 5-4-1 formation. "But we should have tried to do that all game"'.

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"I never spoke with the players about the records", Guardiola said. "We have three targets to aim for this season, including the FA Cup, and we need to go for all of them", Azpilicueta said.

"I don't think we have a problem with quality, we have shown in many matches this season that we can be competitive against any team, like we were against Barcelona a couple of weeks ago and if we don't reach that kind of level of performance in every match it's because of our attitude".

"I had the feeling that I'd ran, but that I hadn't played a game of football".

"We have lost a lot of games already and we don't have space to make another mistake".

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Sky television pundit Jamie Redknapp, the former Liverpool and England midfielder, was scathing in his assessment of Conte's tactics. For sure to concede the goal after 30 seconds of the second half was a pity because then it was very hard for us to come back.