EPL: Hazard blasts Conte's tactics against Manchester City

17. Kevin De Bruyne

On Sunday evening Manchester City strolled to a routine 1-0 win over a lacklustre Chelsea side at the Etihad, with Bernardo Silva grabbing the victor just seconds after the second half had begun.

"You got to the stage where they were just camped in their (City's) half and are standing there not moving".

"It is a good question [if Chelsea could have been more ambitious vs City]". Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas sidled up to him but didn't put in a tackle.

This was no mutiny from Chelsea - the players, in fact, were carrying out their coach's instructions to the letter - but a passive acceptance of its place below City in English soccer's realigned hierarchy this season.

"If I remember well, Arsenal three days ago played against them and you criticise (Arsene) Wenger because they concede three goals".

This plan largely did not come off for the visitors though as City did well to suffocate the London side in their own half. Neither team really showed any signs of securing a single precious point but both went away empty handed.

Jamie Redknapp has described Chelsea's performance at Manchester City today as a crime against football, with Antonio Conte's men putting in a meek display. They enjoyed 71 per cent possess as last season's champions were seen off at a canter.

Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud has said that his side are not in a "crisis" following their 1-0 defeat to Manchester City on Sunday.

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"We tried to have patience".

As dress rehearsals go, it was complete failure.

Chelsea took the same approach to that which earned them a draw against Barcelona in the Champions League: defend with five at the back and four in front of them, then give the ball to Willian. Same desire as at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues boss made a decision to leave both Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud on the bench for the game at the Etihad, leaving the Hazard to play through the middle, but it was a frustrating afternoon, with the Belgian failing to have a single shot.

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

Arsenal, in contrast, are drifting, still with more quality than the likes of Burnley and Leicester City, but no longer with the aura of a team that is part of the elite group.

Hazard does save things a little near the end with a generic look to the future, but he definitely aims a thinly veiled complaint at Conte's tactics here.

While you'd struggle to find anybody in the Premier League who doesn't rate Chelsea's star man, most would agree that his optimal position lies out wide as opposed to down the middle.

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