Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has come under attack after Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat by Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
After a goalless first half, Bernardo Silva gave the home side the lead just moments after the start of the second half.
The criticism of the Blues and Conte from both Sky sports pundits Jamie Redknapp and Gary Neville as well as on social media, followed Chelsea’s poor display which lacked confidence and flair.
Chelsea were totally outplayed by City, failing to register a single effort on target and enjoying just 29 per cent possession.
One 18-second clip of the match shows Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas and Willian walking around when David Silva, Ilkay Gundogan and Oleksandr Zinchenko are passing the ball to one another.
The poor result of the match was blamed on Chelsea playing deep, letting City take complete control of the game, with them playing so many passes because Chelsea allowed them to.
Neville called Chelsea’s display “absolutely unacceptable” while accusing Conte’s players of being “mannequins” and colleagueRedknapp called their approach “anti-football” and “a crime against football”.
Conte bit back at criticism suggesting it was “stupid” to question his tactics in the defeat.
“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.
“A few days ago, Arsenal played twice against them and then you criticised [Arsenal manager Arsene] Wenger a lot because they conceded three goals in only 30 minutes.
“The pundit has to use the head to understand when you speak about tactics because I think you must have knowledge to speak about tactics and not only to speak in a stupid way.”
Chelsea face similar style opponents Barcelona at the Nou Camp on 14 March in the second leg of their Champions League and will need to rethink their game plan.