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Monday, March 5, 2018

​​​​​​​Gary Neville on 'unacceptable' Chelsea and Antonio Conte's future

Gary Neville called Chelsea's performance as "unacceptable" after they limped to a 1-0 defeat against champions-elect Manchester City.
City continued their title procession with a 1-0 victory at the Etihad Stadium on Super Sunday - a result which leaves Pep Guardiola needing just four more victories to dethrone Chelsea and claim a maiden title in English football.
Antonio Conte's decision to not start a recognised striker backfired as Chelsea sat off City for the majority of the game, failed to register a single effort on target and enjoyed just 29 per cent possession.
Neville - who was on co-commentary duty for the game - was left bitterly disappointed with Chelsea's timid approach, saying even City fans wouldn't have enjoyed the game despite moving closer to the title.
He told The Gary Neville Podcast: "I think Chelsea have given us an unacceptable 90 minutes there. It was awful.
"Yes, you want to come to Manchester City and make sure you're compact to stop Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva. You want to make you leave the ball to the centre backs and the full backs - and they did all that.
"In terms of the approach, it wasn't bad - it was the lack of intent and passing of the performance which was so passive that made it difficult to watch.
"I'm not sure how the game just drifted, drifted, drifted for 90 minutes with no reaction from the sidelines.
"Even the Manchester City fans inside the stadium wouldn't have liked that match. They'll be going home thinking Chelsea were terrible - it was a stroll."
Conte's future has been in doubt after a disappointing title defence and various run-ins with the Chelsea hierarchy over transfer budgets.
If reports are to believed, Chelsea will have a new manager next season and Neville thinks history shows the Italian could be in danger.
"The Chelsea hierarchy have been clinical and brutal in the past - the second season for Chelsea managers are notoriously difficult after they've won a league. What we're starting to see is typical Chelsea.
"If they get knocked out of the Champions League then you could see this ending quite quickly for Antonio Conte, who has done a brilliant job at the club."