By 90Min
March 05, 2018

Chelsea ace Eden Hazard has seemingly criticised boss Antonio Conte's tactical decisions during their 1-0 defeat to Manchester City on Sunday afternoon, claiming an attack consisting of Alvaro Morata or Olivier Giroud would have proved more fruitful. 

The Belgium international was nothing but a bystander as the west Londoners all but relinquished their championship crown to Pep Guardiola's Citizens, with Bernardo Silva's early second-half strike the difference between the two outfits. 

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. 

And following the defeat, as quoted by the Metro, Hazard claimed the team's tactics were severely flawed and that he alone did not stand a chance. 

"I had the feeling that I’d ran, but that I hadn’t played a game of football. That’s a pity", he said. "We could have played on for three hours, but I wouldn’t touch a ball. It only went better at the end of the game. 

"I’m trying to jump but it’s not easy to win the duels against Nicolas Otamendi and Aymeric Laporte.

Laurence Griffiths/GettyImages

"We did not play with our qualities and if Alvaro Morata or Giroud is playing, it’s easier to play with long balls. But I’m trying to do the maximum."

While commentating on the game, pundit Gary Neville accused Chelsea of being "absolutely unacceptable", and even went as far as labelling them "mannequins".

However, despite a great deal of criticism, Conte took exception to the former defender's comments, stating: "I think in this moment you have to accept every critic, but I am not so stupid to play against Manchester City open and to lose 3-0 or 4-0.

"If I remember well, a few days ago, Arsenal played twice against them and then you criticise a lot [Arsenal manager Arsene] Wenger because they concede three goals in only 30 minutes. 

"I think that the pundit has to use the head to understand when you speak about tactics because I think that you must have knowledge to speak about tactics and not only to speak in a stupid way."

But Neville was not the only figure in the game to criticise the Italian and his game plan, with former Blues manager Ruud Gullit slamming the Stamford Bridge side for their dull showing. 

Laurence Griffiths/GettyImages

"It is hard to understand why Antonio Conte did not try to change things around," he told BBC Sport. 

"Conte’s side showed hardly any attacking intent – instead they were just hoping for a City mistake to let them in on a counter-attack, or hoping for someone to produce a moment of genius in front of goal. 

"That is all they had – hope. They never looked like actually making anything happen and I was really disappointed with their performance."

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