Gary Neville responded after Antonio Conte branded him and Jamie Redknapp “stupid” for their strong criticism after Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat to Manchester City.
“I wouldn’t have got a touch even if we played for three hours, even if we improved in the last 10 or 15 minutes”, the Belgium worldwide said after the match. “But we haven’t played a good game and for me personally, it’s hard to play a good game when you only touch the ball three times”.
Manchester City: Ederson 6, Kyle Walker 6, Nicolas Otamendi 7, Aymeric Laporte 6, Oleksandr Zinchenko 5, Kevin De Bruyne 6, Ilkay Gundogan 7, Bernardo Silva 7, David Silva 8, Leroy Sane 8, Sergio Aguero 6. If they were to win all of their remaining nine matches, City would finish the season on 105 points.
On Sunday, Conte benched Morata and Olivier Giroud and despite the errant passes from Pedro on scarce breakaways; Conte took off Willian before Pedro and then threw on both Giroud and Morata.
But, much like the contest at Stamford Bridge earlier in the season, a one-goal difference did not do the Premier League leaders justice, with the Blues offering little to nothing in attack as long balls up to 27-year-old playmaker were gobbled up by the Etihad Stadium defence.
Chelsea’s Champions League hopes fading: Shortly after the Barcelona game last month, the Blues were in a position where they could potentially strengthen their top-four prospects.
“I’m actually just watching Phil Foden out on the pitch and he’s practicing, and you might think, “why am I mentioning that?'” Neville said on his Sky Sports” podcast. “Records are always a outcome of what you have done but they are not the main thing”.
Antonio Conte’s game plan was quite clear from the outset – to contain and frustrate the champions-elect and hit them on the counter. Knocking the ball about between their back line, the home side were in no rush to push forward and could comfortably maintain possession.
Neville believes Conte will get sacked at the end of this season, especially if Chelsea fail to progress in the Champions League, where they now face a precarious second leg in Barcelona having drawn 1-1 at home in the first leg.
During the clash with the reigning Premier League champions, City broke no fewer than FIVE Premier League records.