Man City break Premier League passing record; Pep insists focus on titles

Antonio Conte looks on as his team were beaten 1-0 by Manchester City on Sunday

Antonio Conte looks on as his team were beaten 1-0 by Manchester City on Sunday

Despite winning the Premier League title in Conte's first season at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea are now 25 points behind Pep Guardiola's side and fifth in the English top flight.

It was the Blues' fourth loss in five league games and left them five points behind fourth-placed Tottenham with nine games to play, heaping further pressure on a manager whose long-term future was already uncertain.

His 46th minute score was the only one that counted in City's triumph Sunday at Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England. After starting without a recognised striker, the visitors failed to muster a single shot on target and commanded only 29 per cent possession. I don't even want to blame my players and say the start was not good.

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Antonio Conte responded to the claim Chelsea committed "a crime against football" with their display against Manchester City by stating that an attacking approach would have been stupid. "But we haven't played a good game and for me personally, it's hard to play a good game when you only touch the ball three times".

"We obviously respected Arsenal, they are a very good side and on their day they can beat anyone but we just concentrated on ourselves and the form we are in".

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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They remain alive in this season's competition but must find a way past Barcelona at the Nou Camp next week to reach the quarter-finals. "In the last game, we were in a good position, and we dropped points".

"They were getting absolutely hammered, they were getting passed off the park, they weren't getting close and they weren't laying a glove but with 20 minutes to go, I'm thinking, you know what, there are plenty of teams doing this and then they have a dig for 20 minutes at the end because they've held off and City do tire a bit towards the end". We need to keep the focus on this and win the next game and go step by step.

"Now we need three or four victories to be champions". But we should have tried to do that all game.

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Sky television pundit Jamie Redknapp, the former Liverpool and England midfielder, was scathing in his assessment of Conte's tactics. They didn't create too many chances, even if they had two or three. In the second half, we conceded quickly and it hurt us.

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