Champions League fatigue is no excuse for Antonio Conte as Chelsea lose to Manchester City


Chelsea boss Antonio Conte refused to field his the Blues midweek trip to Madrid in the Champions League as an excuse for the 1-0 loss to Manchester City on Saturday.

The reigning Premier League champions had one less day than Pep Guardiola's Manchester City to prepare for the big clash at Stamford Bridge after his side arrived from the Spanish capital following their 2-1 over Atletico Madrid in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Man City, meanwhile, played Shakhtar Donetsk 2-0 at home on Tuesday evening and looked in great shape against the Blues four days later as Kevin de Bruyne's second-half striker secured Guardiola's side the needed three points.

Antonio Conte hinted his unimpressive display against City might have been due to fatigue but did not want to use the trip to Madrid in midweek as an excuse for the performance against Guardiola's side - which he was pleased with.

The Italian boss told reporters via the Evening Standard: "For sure there is disappointment for the result but at the same time, I am pleased for the commitment of my players.

"We gave everything but the most important thing is to see your players giving everything.

"It happened like this today. We played against a really good team.

"We created chances to score but we didn't take it. They created chances and they were good to take their chances."

When asked about the fatigue issue, Conte replied: "We could take this as an excuse but if you have to play another massive game after a big one, you must think about the fatigue of your players.

"It's impossible to go to press box-to-box. You have not energy to continue, to play this game."

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