Chelsea manager Antonio Conte appeared in a defiant mood as he faced the press following his side's 1-0 loss at Manchester City on Sunday evening.
His decision to sit back and defend was met negatively by many pundits, but speaking at his post-match press conference Conte said: "At this moment you have to accept criticism but I’m not so stupid to play open against Man City and lose 3-0 or 4-0."
"If I remember well, a few days ago Arsenal played twice against them and you [the media] criticised [Arsene] Wenger because they conceded three goals in 20 minutes. Pundits need to use their heads and understand when you speak about tactics you must have knowledge, not just speak in a stupid way."
The Italian said he had no regrets about the match, pointing out that it is dropped points in games against weaker teams that have cost his side more than this loss against champions-elect City.
"Today they showed the difference between them and us at this moment, 25 points is a big gap. I think we can have regrets for the other games but not this one."
Us the fans will be miserable all week & I feel for the ones that made the long trip to Manchester. Losing is part of the game, we only ask if the team gives us 100% and create some chances. Not 1 shot on target and conceding 75-80% possession is not good enough. #MCICHE— Chelsea FC Fan Club (@ConteBlueArmy) March 4, 2018
Eyebrows were also raised by Conte's reluctance to make any substitutions until the 77th minute, but he said: "‘We had two strikers [on the bench] and we tried to change the game with them, but when we play against a strong team it’s very difficult for us to keep the balance from last season, with Hazard in the number 10 position.
"We need to have two players who run a lot defensively and I think Pedro and Willian played a fantastic game."