Chelsea manager Antonio Conte refused to use his squad midweek trip to Madrid in the Champions League as an excuse for his side 1-0 loss to league leaders Manchester City on Saturday.
The Blues had one less day than Pep Guardiola’s City side to prepare for the big clash at Stamford Bridge after Chelsea arrived from the Spanish capital following their 2-1 win over Atletico Madrid in the early hours of Thursday morning.
City, meanwhile, played Shakhtar Donetsk 2-0 at home on Tuesday evening and looked in good shape against the Blues four days later as Kevin de Bruyne’s second-half strike secured City win at the Bridge.
The Blues boss then hinted Chelsea unimpressive performance against the Manchester giants 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 ex-Juventus boss told reporters as quoted 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.”
Conte when asked about Chelsea’s fatigue issue, he 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.”
Having suffered a 1-0 defeat to Premier League title rivals Manchester City on Saturday, Conte’s men will look to get back to winning ways against Crystal Palace in a fortnight.