Conte defends tactics after Chelsea defeat

Antonio Conte stood by his defensive tactics after Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat against Manchester City.

Conte’s side were completely outclassed by the runaway Premier League leaders as they suffered a fourth consecutive loss.

Facing a team in brilliant form and which beat Arsenal 3-0 on Thursday, Chelsea defended in numbers and played without an out and out striker until late in the game.

Blues boss Conte said: “When you play against City you have to use your head, otherwise you lose in a bad way.

“We tried to not concede the space and for a long part of the match it was good. To concede 30 seconds into the second half is a pity.”

Conte waited until 11 minutes from the end to make his first substitution, bringing on Olivier Giroud for Willian, while Alvaro Morata did not come on for the ineffective Eden Hazard until the 89th minute.

“I tried to do something with the substitutions,” Conte said.

“But for sure when we decided to play with Pedro, Hazard and Willian there is a difficulty to have the players to change the game. It’s difficult to keep the balance of last season.

“We need the balance. I think Pedro and Willian had a fantastic game.

“I waited (to make a change) because you hope a player like Hazard can invent something.

“We were unlucky in this aspect. I decided to do this a bit late but against Manchester United I did it before with Hazard and it didn’t change.”