Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas has hit out at the team’s forward players this season, suggesting that their wastefulness is the cause of the Blues’ troubles.
Antonio Conte’s side have only a slim chance of reaching the top four and qualifying for the Champions League this season, despite beating Liverpool 1-0 at the weekend.
The Spain international has pinned the blame on the club’s forward players for not finding the net more regularly.
“We could have won more if we had been more clinical and that's been our weakest point this season,” he told Sky Sports.
“We are taking more chances because we are winning, and that's the most important. I think defensively as well, we have been keeping clean-sheets.
“But the biggest regret this season, it's been up front, not taking our chances. We have had many, many chances to score in games - to win games that we didn't win.”
Eden Hazard is the club’s leading marksman this season with 16 goals, while marquee summer signing Alvaro Morata has returned a relatively disappointing 15 in 45 appearances, but is not in any danger of departing the club this summer.
Meanwhile, Michy Batshuayi was loaned out to Dortmund in January as room was made for Olivier Giroud, who signed from Arsenal, and Fabregas believes that the France international has aided his side.
“Oli is helping us a lot in certain things that maybe we were lacking,” he said. “The most important is he is scoring big goals which is what we ask - especially me as a midfielder. This is what we want - the strikers put their chances away and make the team win points.”
The 31-year-old admitted this campaign has been a disappointment, particularly in light of last year’s success.
“We haven't done well enough in trying to retain the title. It's true that we expected to do better,” he added. “The reality is that up until mid-January we were good, in a strong position in basically all competitions.
“But Man City have gone into another level this year. They have been playing very well. They didn't give a chance - the same way we didn't give anybody a chance last year.
“Congratulations to them, and next season we must make sure we come back stronger than ever.”