Conte fires back at 'anti-football' criticism of tactics

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Antonio Conte defended his tactical approach as Manchester City beat Chelsea 1-0 at the Etihad on Sunday afternoon.

Instead, we opted to sit off and invite pressure, which Man City were not in any hurry to provide.

Successive 3-0 reverses by Manchester City, the first in the League Cup final and the second in the league, could be explained in part by the dominance of Pep Guardiola's runaway table-toppers, but the losses to Ostersunds in the Europa League and to Brighton verged on embarrassing.

"It's not good enough, but this is the truth, I don't think this is because of the tactics".

According to Opta stats, Sunday's match was the first in which Chelsea have failed to register a single shot in the first half of a Premier League match since 2003-04.

"We had to be careful against the counter attacks", Guardiola said on NBCSN.

Conte fired back at Redknapp's comments.

I was really looking forward to this game today.

With its 14th straight league win at home, City moved to within 12 points of clinching the title.

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Ultimately, the most important number for City was 18 - the record points lead it holds after 29 games thanks to Bernardo Silva's victor just 33 seconds into the second half.

Just as in a 3-0 win at Arsenal on Thursday, Leroy Sane was the inspiration for much of City's best attacking play.

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

Given a run of starts for the first time this season, Bernardo Silva is finally showing why City paid 43 million pounds ($55 million) to Monaco for his services last summer.

"When you match quality and mentality I think that you become unstoppable".

"At this moment, you have to accept every criticism", said Conte, who set up his team so defensively that Chelsea had just 22 per cent possession in the first half. "The quality. To have the distance between many teams now".

Conte fielded a front three of Pedro Rodriguez and Willian behind lone striker Eden Hazard, but the trio barely saw the ball. Moses had a high, wide and not so handsome shot which in truth summed up the Londoners' tepid day.

It means that City - boasting the biggest lead ahead of a second-placed side since 2006 - now need a maximum of four league wins to be crowned Premier League champions for the third time. Obviously, we could have done better but these are not small games.

Arsenal's eighth loss since the turn of the year left their hopes of a top-four finish in tatters, with Wenger admitting it was "already gone" even before the Gunners were left 13 points adrift of the leading quartet. "We're going to play good to win games and after that will be a outcome".