Guardiola says he could not have imagined City title runaway

Chelsea's chances of finishing in the Premier League's top four suffered a big blow on Sunday afternoon with a 1-0 defeat at Manchester City.

Manchester City's Bernardo Silva celebrates scoring the 1-0 goal during the English Premier League match against Chelsea at Etihad stadium, Manchester, Britain.

Chelsea's only real opportunity of an equalizer came midway through the second half when Victor Moses was played in down the right with City's defense momentarily torn open.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola shakes hands with Chelsea manager Antonio Conte after the match REUTERS. I understand 'okay we won't play with a striker, let's be hard to beat, ' but you have to have some intent.

"I think that the pundit has to use the head to understand when you speak about tactics because I think that you must have knowledge to speak about tactics and not only to speak in a stupid way."

"We had to be careful against the counter-attacks, Hazard, Willian and Pedro are all quick players but we controlled it and we were quick with the ball, nobody was making extra passes or extra touches".

Conte believes Chelsea have failed to sufficiently improve the squad after last season's triumph, saying that City had wrapped up the title in the first half of the current campaign.

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The Blues had just seven shots against Man City in their two Premier League meetings this season, while facing 30 themselves. When you concede the space to Manchester City there is the risk for the game to finish 3 or 4-0.

Bernardo Silva gave the home-side the lead less than a minute into the second-half, but it took Chelsea until the final 15 minutes to wake up and look to put any sort of pressure on Pep Guardiola's side.

Still Chelsea hardly approached the game like a team who needed points to get back in contention to qualify for Europe's elite competition.

"I tried to wait because the substitution was with Hazard and you hope until the end that a player like Hazard can invent something", Conte said. "I have enough experience and desire to turn things around". This must be a great frustration for me, for my players, for my club. "The quality. To have the distance between many teams now". It was a second straight loss in Manchester for Chelsea, having been defeated 2-1 by Man United last weekend.

The win took City's points to 78, with an 18 points difference from second-placed Liverpool, while Chelsea are in the fifth position, and have 53 points, eight points behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur. These are not small games.

Chelsea still refused to offer up any sign of ambition and even when they did attacks fizzled out tamely, with some ironic cheers from the visiting fans when they won a corner late on and also when Alonso's timid shot drifted wide in stoppage time.

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