Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has not given any consolation to the Blues supporters after the reign Premier League champions lost their fourth game of the season against West Ham United.
A six-minute opener from Marko Arnautovic led the Hammers to their first victory under David Moyes as Chelsea were unable to break down the hosts’ tight defence in the 1-0 loss at London Stadium.
Chelsea are currently sitting third in the table but could be taken over by Liverpool tomorrow should they win Everton in the Merseyside Derby at Anfield. Meanwhile Manchester City will extend their lead to Chelsea to 14 points at the top of the table if they win Manchester United in another Sunday derby.
Conte says that having already lost four times this season means Chelsea never even entered the title race, as he also stresses how losing points against oppositions like West Ham is simply unacceptable.
After 16 games if you lose four games it means you never started this race. We started with a defeat in our home game against Burnley. We lost another game. We have a lot of reasons to justify the defeat against Man City because we played after two days.
But then you lose against Crystal Palace at the bottom and now to lose again against West Ham who at this moment are in a bad position in the table, you can’t lose points in these games.
It means you are not in the title race. You have to change, to do our best in this season. I said before this season would be very, very tough, very difficult and this is the truth.
Conte has praised City for their ‘fantastic’ form this season on winning 14 of their 15 Premier League games this term, and says that the Blues can’t really be seen in the title race no more.
To play 15 games and win 14 and draw one means you are having a fantastic season. This is the truth. If you want to stay in the title race you must give continuity, continuity in the result. This is not our case this season. To lose four games in 16 it means you are not in the title race.
– Antonio Conte, Football.London