Man City Edge Closer To Title With Win Over Chelsea

Man City Edge Closer To Title With Win Over Chelsea

Man City Edge Closer To Title With Win Over Chelsea

Hazard also had his bit to say about Conte's tactics on the weekend, and admitted that he struggled to play against City's centre backs.

"We didn't utilise the counter-attack as well as we could have done".

This was no mutiny from Chelsea - the players, in fact, were carrying out their coach's instructions to the letter - but a passive acceptance of its place below City in English soccer's realigned hierarchy this season.

After the game, the Belgian said that he felt like he didn't even play a game of football- that's how inconsequential he felt his impact was on Sunday afternoon.

It was a tactic that worked with some success in a 1-1 draw with Barcelona in the Champions League last month but it backfired at the Etihad Stadium, where the 1-0 scoreline flattered the visitors. In the second half, we conceded quickly and it hurt us.

No wonder Antonio Conte, such a bubbly, passionate and explosive manager on the touchline, looked so glum after a match that amounted to little more than a damage-limitation exercise.

Conte arrived at Chelsea promising to turn the side from a "small flame ... into a blazing inferno". It is very hard to keep the balance of last season with Hazard as a No. 10. Sometimes it's not about how you play.

Sky television pundit Jamie Redknapp, the former Liverpool and England midfielder, was scathing in his assessment of Conte's tactics.

"It is a good question", said Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud, when asked if the team could have been more ambitious.

Alonso said: "I think it's an attitude problem and we have to make things clearer and improve quickly because we have nine matches left and we want to be in the top four". We have to respect that and give our best, no matter who is on the pitch.

As dress rehearsals go, it was complete failure. They suffered a setback in their quest after a 2-1 defeat by United in their last league outing.

Pep Guardiola's City, who have now won 14 straight home games, need just four wins from their remaining nine matches to be crowned champions.

For Chelsea, it was death by almost a thousand passes. I agree about not taking the ball, not getting on the half-turn as Man City are a great pressing side, but I can't relate to it, in any way shape or form for the best players and teams in the world.

A fourth defeat in five Premier League games leaves Chelsea's ambitions of Champions League football next season in serious peril.

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