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Antonio Conte

Neville replies to Conte's 'stupid' punditry criticism: Chelsea's display was disgusting!

11:38 GMT+3 06/03/2018
Gary Neville Antonio Conte
The Blues boss urged commentators to think more before they speak, but the former Manchester United defender feels he has bigger things on his mind

Gary Neville has replied to Antonio Conte's "stupid" punditry dig by insisting that Chelsea's display at Manchester City on Sunday filled him with "disgust".

Conte had his tactics against City labelled a "crime against football" by Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp after they went down 1-0 through Bernardo Silva's strike early in the second half, and the Italian defended himself by urging commentators to "use their head" and not to "speak in a stupid way" .

But Neville believes the Italian should focus more on fixing his side's performances after what he feels was a particularly damning display for the Blues.

"To be honest with you, it disgusts me," he said on Sky Sports .

"The first bit is a bit tactical for a bit of belief. I agree about not taking the ball, not getting on the half-turn as Man City are a great pressing side.

"But I can't relate to it, in any way shape or form for the best players and teams in the world.

"City are the best team in the Premier League by a mile. When they give the ball away, they react. When they win the ball back, everything is quick and at top-speed. They won a cup final last Sunday and they came out on Thursday and they are at it again. There's no rest.

"These Chelsea players took a day off. They took a rest.

"They chucked it in yesterday, those players. Antonio Conte has called us [pundits] stupid, I don't know the exact quote, but he'll have watched that back this morning.

"I know the Juventus team that he played in and I was England coach against his Italy team. His teams work hard, they are aggressive, they are good defensively, they tackle and they know how to play. He will have been equally disgusted.

"One thing I can guarantee you is the Chelsea boardroom will have watched that performance yesterday and will not accept it.

"It was nowhere near good enough and it was unacceptable."

Despite winning the Premier League title in Conte's first season at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea are now 25 points behind Pep Guardiola's side and fifth in the English top flight.