Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has admitted Manchester City “seem unstoppable” prior to the league meeting between the sides on Sunday – and that their dominance looks likely to continue.
City are 16 are points clear of second-placed Manchester United at the top of the Premier League, and 22 points ahead of Conte’s Blues.
Conte said a combination of a “good manager” and “much money” was the perfect recipe for building a strong relationship and bringing success.
“We must have great admiration for this team because they are doing and having a fantastic path in the season,” the Italian said.
“When you work very well and there is a great feeling between the manager and the club you can work in the way that you want.
“Manchester City has the possibility to spend a lot of money and when you link the two situations – a good manager and much money to spend in the transfer market – and the same ambition, then this is the final result.
“Last season Manchester City was always a fantastic team but after one season then the manager tried to improve the quality of the starting 11 and the squad and this is the result.
“In this moment they seem unstoppable.”
Conte said Chelsea would have to fight for a Champions League place for next season, and strongly suggested that the club’s reluctance to compete with City in the transfer market meant that challenging for the title this season was unrealistic.
The Blues boss said questions about Chelsea’s ambition should not be directed at him.
“The club has to show ambition, not the coach,” Conte added. “The coach has to work every day, to try to work very hard.
“Every club has to understand which is the target of the club. Every team must have their own target before the season and to try to reach this target. For every team this could be different.
“For us, in this moment, we have to try to get a place in the Champions League. It won’t be easy because many teams are very strong. We must be ready to fight.
“City have the possibility to spend money and improve the quality of the starting eleven and the quality of the squad.
“In this league, for the other teams, they have to pay great attention to Manchester City because Manchester City is a fantastic reality. When there is a confidence and money spend then one plus one is two.”