City take big step to Premier League title with Chelsea victory

Antonio Conte

It was Chelsea's fourth defeat in five league games and left them five points behind fourth-placed Tottenham with nine games to play.

Asked ahead of Wednesday's return fixture at the Etihad Stadium if Manchester City were at the same level as La Liga leaders Barca, Guardiola was emphatic in his answer. This has lead the Chelsea star to go on to say, "I had the feeling that I'd ran, but that I hadn't played a game of football".

Gary Neville insists that he stands by his criticism of Chelsea's performance against Manchester City after Antonio Conte hit back. It is not the day and the moment to question whether we are behind the boss or not. "Obviously we are behind him and we are all sticking together".

After the loss at Brighton, Wenger suggested for the first time that winning the Europa League may be the easiest route for Arsenal to secure Champions League football for next season.

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They remain alive in this season's competition but must negotiate a way past Barcelona at the Nou Camp next week to reach the quarter-finals.

"It is not a good weekend for us because our opponents in the Champions League race won", said Giroud, who came on as a second-half substitute against City. We prepared the game in this way, [not to] concede space between the lines. "In the last game, we were in a good position, and we dropped points".

"Some top teams will play against each other - you never know. We have three targets to aim for this season, including the FA Cup, and we need to go for all of them", Azpilicueta said. "We need four victories to be champions, it is in our hands and if our behaviour is like today we will be champions".

Giroud said: "The coach made his tactics, we tried to respect it".

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Hazard does save things a little near the end with a generic look to the future, but he definitely aims a thinly veiled complaint at Conte's tactics here.

Despite City's clear superiority, Bernardo Silva's goal early in the second half was all they had to show for their efforts.

"At half-time it was 0-0. For me personally it's hard to play a good game, when you only touch the ball three times".

You have to wonder how Chelsea would have fared if the focal point of their attack could create more problems for City's defence, while Hazard caused havoc with his pace on the wings.

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