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Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has ruled out his side’s chances of defending the Premier League crown following Saturday’s shock 1-0 defeat at the hands of West Ham United.
David Moyes‘ side produced a credible performance during the 2-1 defeat to Manchester City last weekend, and they continued to show their growth with a resolute defensive performance against the reigning champions.
Alvaro Morata and Eden Hazard missed chances late on to at least secure a draw in the London derby, and Conte insists that the Blues were never in the title race having lost four of their first 16 league games.
“To talk about the title race after a defeat I think is a bit strange. Especially as this is the fourth defeat this season in 16 games. When you have this task it is impossible to think that you are in the title race. It is impossible,” he told reporters, via ESPN.
Chelsea are currently 11 points adrift of table-toppers Manchester City, but they could potentially fall further behind, should the Citizens secure a positive result versus Manchester United in the Manchester derby on Sunday.
The defeat caps off a difficult week for the English champions, who had to settle for a 1-1 draw versus Atletico Madrid in the final Champions League game. As a result, Chelsea are certain to face one of Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona or Besiktas in the last 16 of the competition.