Guardiola: Win Vs Chelsea So Important, It's In Our Hands Now


Manchester United legend Gary Neville branded Antonio Conte's Chelsea "woeful" and "unacceptable" for defeat at Manchester City.

Conte attempted to explain his tactics away as a effect of the absence of the unwell N'Golo Kante, but the Chelsea manager conceded that his team's performance was not up to requirements.

With Conte's future uncertain at Chelsea as he struggles to repeat the success of his first season, Italian Football Federation (FIGC) vice-commissioner Alessandro Costacurta has said he is the primary choice to return to the national team.

"We must have a big regret for the defeat against Bournemouth, against Watford, against United, but I don't think today because today we played against a team that is showing to be a strong team", he added.

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

When a team like Chelsea has this attitude, the rest of the Premier League has no hope.

"I think the target was to be solid until the end and then try to put one in at the end". It just is not right.

"We're not going to play for the record", Guardiola said. "But I'm not so stupid to play open and lose 3-0 or 4-0".

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Bernard Silva was the one who found the back of the net to break the scoreless deadlock in the very first minute of the second half on a cross by David Silva. I was looking forward to watching this game today. This must be a great frustration for me, for my players, for my club.

You get a unusual atmosphere in the dressing room when the manager is under threat - some of the players are happy with him of course but the ones who are not in the side might be thinking they might have a better chance with the next coach. Who could believe it?

The Portugal midfielder backed up his goal in the 3-0 win over Arsenal on Thursday with the victor against Chelsea. Chelsea's cause was not helped by the absence of midfield enforcer N'Golo Kante. "The quality. To have the distance between many teams now".

Yet the Belgian was anonymous throughout and cut a frustrated figure as he failed to have any impact, with Conte waiting until the 78th minute to bring on a striker in Olivier Giroud, and then delaying Morata's arrival until the final minute. Moses blazed his shot way wide.

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.

At Milan, we were so good that, most of the time, we could control that - just like City did on Sunday.

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 risky area.