Chelsea manager Antonio Conte bit back at criticism from pundits Jamie Redknapp and Gary Neville, insisting they were “stupid” to question his tactics in the 1-0 loss to Manchester City.
The Premier League title holders, who played without a recognised striker for 78 minutes, ceded 71 per cent of possession to the champions elect and failed to register a single shot on target as they lost thanks to Bernardo Silva’s goal early in the second half.
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City completed 902 passes, more than any other Premier League side have managed in a game since the 2003-04 season, and Conte’s approach was lambasted by both Redknapp and Neville in their roles on Sky Sports.
Neville said Chelsea’s performance was “absolutely unacceptable” and accused Conte’s players of being “mannequins”, while Redknapp called their approach “anti-football” and “a crime against football”.
When Redknapp’s comments were put to Conte, he said: “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.”