Antonio Conte: 'Chelsea must accept Manchester City defeat'

Antonio Conte coaches Chelsea versus Crystal Palace in the Premier League

"Morata played three games in seven days and got injured", he explained. It won't be easy, but last season wasn't easy either.

The Blues lost 1-0 to title rivals Manchester City.

Chelsea thus head into the second worldwide break with the same exact record as last season (4W-1D-2L), with the same amount of goals scored (12), and three fewer conceded (6) - and thus probably fewer drastic changes required than twelve months ago when the now famous 3-4-3 debuted in response to defensive shambles and created not only a 13-match winning streak and a subsequent league title for Chelsea, but a veritable tactical revolution in the Premier League.

"It wasn't simple second time but it was easier".

'Here, from last season to this season, you have big teams and now they are bigger.

"I think we can't have regrets and we gave everything".

Conte, who won the Premier League in his first season in charge, has criticised his board on numerous occasions for the lack of incoming transfers this season, and has also taken a lot of abuse for his handling of the Diego Costa saga.

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Cahill, 31, added: 'We proved last season we've got enough to win the league, but we realise it's very hard.

"To play three games in seven days, you risk". We must always have the right ambition but sometimes you have to compliment your opponent.

"It's not simple for our wing backs". Moses played two games against Stoke and Atletico, [Marcos] Alonso one and a half because he came off early against Stoke. "With Morata it was the same but I made this decision to risk Morata in this game because imagine [the criticism] if I chose to put him on the bench".

"I see my players every day and I am proud to be the coach of these players", he added. I must be pleased with this.

Now six points adrift of two Mancunian teams who thus far don't look like dropping too many points, the champions look more likely to attain the bronze medal in the race for the Premier League title.

"I see the commitment every day, but for sure to defend the title is very hard." he said.

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