December 16, 2017 / 7:11 AM / a year ago

Rivals must find way to challenge Man City, says Conte

(Reuters) - Manchester City’s top rivals must find a way to challenge the runaway Premier League leaders, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has said.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Huddersfield Town vs Chelsea - John Smith’s Stadium, Huddersfield, Britain - December 12, 2017 Chelsea manager Antonio Conte before the match REUTERS/Andrew Yates

City look unstoppable and lead the Premier League table by 11 points after a record-breaking 15-game winning streak that has seen them beat six of the league’s top seven sides so far.

“We must try to find the right solution to contend the title, to try to fight them. Not only Chelsea, but the five top teams,” Conte told reporters on Friday.

“Manchester City are not a surprise for me. At the start of the season all the people said the league was for two contenders - Man City and Manchester United.

“During the transfer market they reached their targets. We must pay great attention, not only in England, because Man City is building a strong team to lead in Europe.”

Chelsea, who are 14 points behind City in third position, have won seven of their last nine league games, but Conte conceded that their record would mean little if Pep Guardiola’s side continued their run.

“Time is moving on and Manchester City are continuing to win, this is the problem,” Conte added.

“We must be realistic. In the last nine games we won seven times, drew one - to Liverpool - and lost one. And the distance improved for Manchester City.

“In nine games, when you win seven times and draw only once - it’s possible to draw against Liverpool - and lose only one game, and stay 14 points less.”

Chelsea host 11th-placed Southampton later on Saturday.

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru

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