It's not easy when Chelsea defend with nine in the box - Guardiola

A 1-0 win over Chelsea did not reflect Manchester City's dominance, according to Pep Guardiola, who said it was difficult to create against a team that "defend with nine players in their box".

City dominated from the outset but Bernardo Silva scored the only goal of the match as they opened up an 18-point lead at the Premier League summit to move four wins away from the title.

Chelsea, who started with Eden Hazard as a false nine and Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud on the bench, failed to register a single shot on target across the 90 minutes.

Guardiola claimed the Blues' approach made it difficult for City to add to the scoreline, but he was proud of how his team performed.

"Chelsea are still champions. They played with 10 players behind the ball, amazingly well-organised, but we didn't concede one chance," he told Sky Sports.

"We created enough to win the game, score more goals. Our high pressing, our build-up was outstanding so we are so happy because it's another step forward to be champions. We have 78 points. We did perfect.

"We had to control the counter-attacks, Hazard, Willian and Pedro are all quick players but we controlled it and we were quick with the ball, nobody was making extra passes or extra touches.

"It's not easy when they defend with nine players in their box, it's complicated to try to create chances.

"Chelsea didn't have one shot on target. At Old Trafford and against Barcelona they created chances, so today we were so good and we didn't concede anything.

"We are close to be champions ... but it is not already done. It's in our hands. Now we start again, we have to try to stay calm."

Read Full Story

FROM OUR PARTNERS