Guardiola: Win Vs Chelsea So Important, It's In Our Hands Now

Manchester City's Leroy Sane claims the league title is now so close he can almost feel

Antonio Conte, such a bubbly, passionate and explosive manager on the touchline, looked so glum after a match that amounted to little more than a damage-limitation exercise.

It was the 75th minute, Chelsea was down 1-0 in one of its biggest games of the season, and the team was being toyed with. Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas sidled up to him but didn't put in a tackle. These Chelsea players yesterday took a day off, they took a rest. "I think if you ask the players, the players (couldn't believe it) neither", he said.

Sky Sports pundits Jamie Redknapp and Gary Neville had earlier labelled Chelsea's display in their 1-0 defeat vs City as "anti-football" and "embarrassing" respectively, and Conte has since hit out at both Redknapp and Neville referring to them as "stupid". "We could have come back at the end but it was not enough and City deserved to win".

They are virtually through to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League after a 4-0 win over Swiss side Basel in the first leg of their last 16 encounter last month. "We did not play a good game collectively, but we are going to work hard to do better next week".

Conte arrived at Chelsea promising to turn the side from a "small flame ... into a blazing inferno". The coach made his tactics. We tried to respect that.

As dress rehearsals go, it was complete failure. He opened Champions League goal account for City in February and in just a week, has scored against Arsenal and Chelsea.

"We had the same desire as at Stamford Bridge and that is what pleases me the most".

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The stats could even be more one-sided in the return game, just like on Sunday.

Eden Hazard has spoken out about his lack of input in the game as he was deployed in the "false nine" position with Antonio Conte choosing to leave Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud on the bench.

For Chelsea, it was death by almost a thousand passes.

"I think you must have knowledge to speak about tactics and not only speak in a stupid way".

Such is City's mastery of both passing and pressing that its rivals are suffocated into submission.

"We are not going to play for the records". When they did break, Chelsea gave away the ball to easily with Pedro being particularly guilty of this.

The English Premier League leaders have won the English League Cup in Guardiola's second season in charge and are closing in on their first league title under the Spaniard.

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