Published: Tue, March 06, 2018
Sports | By Sarah Myers

It's not easy when Chelsea defend with nine in the box - Guardiola

It's not easy when Chelsea defend with nine in the box - Guardiola

Chelsea winger Eden Hazard has admitted that his side did not play to their qualities in Sunday's 1-0 defeat to Manchester City.

Chelsea are battling for Champions League football next season but defeat at City would leave Conte's side five points adrift of the last qualifying spot if their fourth-placed London rivals Tottenham Hotspur beat Huddersfield Town on Saturday.

Whatever Conte said to his troops during the break fell on deaf ears as City took the lead just a minute after the restart. After starting without a recognised striker, the visitors failed to muster a single shot on target and commanded only 29 per cent possession.

"Once we had the ball, we were immediately surrounded by three or four players". They have a core of the planet's best young talent: 22-year-old Bernardo Silva, scorer of the game's only goal; Gabriel Jesus, only 20, who is being developed as Sergio Aguero's successor when fit; Kevin De Bruyne is still only 26.

"We are not happy with that [but] it is not the day and the moment to question whether we are behind the boss or not".

"On Wednesday we have again a very important game against Basel in front of our fans and we want to win again".

Stretched only sporadically this term by Liverpool's blast of dynamism at Anfield and underdog spirit in the run to the League Cup final, City's best opponents of the season so far have arguably come in the Champions League, where both Shakhtar and Napoli provided real spectacle by attacking City with some verve.

"We need to get back on it".

We're not sure whether he deserves credit for being so honest or skepticism for not having sought to address this during the game. We will believe until the end and keep the faith in our game.

However, while everyone knows how this City team plays, precious few teams are coming up with a satisfactory way of staunching their flow.

City are on course to set a new record for the most points won in a season, the most goals scored and the largest-ever winning margin.

Neville, speaking ahead of United's clash with Crystal Palace on Monday evening, claimed he was left speechless by Chelsea's dismal display.

For his part, Wenger says his players are suffering physically.

"At half-time it was 0-0".

Sane created the hosts' first big chance 21 minutes in when he slalomed past three Chelsea defenders before feeding Bernardo Silva.

"But when you concede a goal just after half-time, it kills your goal a little bit".

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