Chelsea boss Antonio Conte says it was a ‘simple tactical decision’ to overlook Michy Batshuayi in favour of Willian in his side’s 1-0 defeat to Manchester City at Stamford Bridge. The Blues started in a 3-5-2 formation with Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata up top but the Spaniard was forced off after 30 minutes with a hamstring injury.
Batshuayi appeared to be the most natural replacement but Conte opted for Willian and left his side without a natural striker for the remainder of the game. Willian was Chelsea’s poorest performer and Batshuayi was given just 15 minutes at the end of the match to make a difference.
Chelsea fans were getting on the Brazilian’s back when he lost the ball but Conte says it was a ‘simple’ decision to make. it was a simple tactical decision. this type of game i know willian and hazard is a good decision. a better decision to exploit the space behind the defenders. it’s simple. ‘It was a simple tactical decision,’ said Conte. ‘This type of game I know WIllian and Hazard [together] is a good decision. ‘A better decision to exploit the space behind the defenders. It’s simple’
City were the better team throughout the match and Kevin De Bruyne’s second half striker was more than deserved for the visitors. Batshuayi replaced Tiemoue Bakayoko with 15 minutes to play but Chelsea failed to create a chance of note and are now six points behind the Manchester clubs.
Steven Gerrard names two mistakes Chelsea made in 1-0 loss to Man City
Steven Gerrard has offered two reasons why Chelsea lost 1-0 to Manchester City in their top of the table clash at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening.
The defending Premier League champions welcomed the current leaders to Stamford Bridge fresh from an impressive 2-1 win at Atletico Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday night.
Manchester City dominated possession and put Antonio Conte’s side under sustained pressure as the title holders spent most of the Premier League clash on the back foot.
Former Chelsea midfielder Kevin De Bruyne scored a second-half winner after the Belgium international combined with Gabriel Jesus before placing a finish past his compatriot Thibaut Courtois.
Conte lost Alvaro Morata to injury in the first half and brought on Willian, while Michy Batshuayi and Pedro Rodriguez were second-half substitutes in west London.
Former Liverpool skipper Gerrard felt that Conte got his substitutions wrong, while the retired England international suggested Chelsea gave Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering Manchester City too much respect.
“City look fit and as though they’ve stiffened it up a bit defensively,” Gerrard told BT Sport. “Going forward they’re an absolute joy to watch.
“Chelsea showed them too much respect. They sat off them all game and never tried to press them. Conte got his substitutions wrong today.
“After such a big performance in midweek they never came out on the front foot and just gave them too much time on the ball.”
Manchester City hoisted themselves back to the top of the Premier League table on goal difference following their 1-0 win at Chelsea.
The Citizens have scored 22 goals in seven games in the Premier League this season, while the Eastlands outfit have conceded just two goals.