Manchester City not at FC Barcelona's level yet, Guardiola says

Sheri Evans
March 7, 2018

The result at the Etihad has left Chelsea five points behind Tottenham in their quest to secure a Champions League position, while the defeat also means the Blues have now lost in four consecutive away games in all competitions.

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".

And the Italian's negative approach came under scrutiny after the visitors failed to register a shot on target after he again opted to start without a recognised centre-forward by leaving Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud on the bench. In a post-match interview, the Belgium worldwide said: "We could have played on for three hours and I wouldn't touch a ball". We haven't played a good game.

"We are not happy with that [but] it is not the day and the moment to question whether we are behind the boss or not. Obviously we are behind him and we are all sticking together".

But the way in which reigning Premier League champions Chelsea meekly surrendered to Pep Guardiola's side on Sunday did catch the eye.

The Champions League is a big stage for us and, of course, we want to win it.

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There may be yet more records to fall before the end of the season, with this Manchester City team undoubtedly set to go down as one of the greatest to ever grace the Premier League.

We're not sure whether he deserves credit for being so honest or skepticism for not having sought to address this during the game.

"They were getting absolutely hammered, they were getting passed off the park, they weren't getting close and they weren't laying a glove but with 20 minutes to go, I'm thinking, you know what, there are plenty of teams doing this and then they have a dig for 20 minutes at the end because they've held off and City do tire a bit towards the end".

"I don't think we have a problem with quality, we have shown in many matches this season that we can be competitive against any team, like we were against Barcelona a couple of weeks ago and if we don't reach that kind of level of performance in every match it's because of our attitude".

EPL pundits, however, accorded Conte no such respect, slamming his tactics. We had to try and nullify them.

"At half-time it was 0-0". In the second half, we conceded quickly and it hurt us.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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