Pablo Zabaleta has admitted Chelsea deserved to beat Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Monday and said his side failed to perform at their best.
The Argentina international rued the loss of injured players, as City were without Sergio Aguero, Samir Nasri and Fernandinho, but believes their quadruple hopes were not harmed too much by the 1-0 loss at the Etihad Stadium.
City missed a chance to overhaul Arsenal at the top of the Premier League as Chelsea ended their 100 percent home record.
Zabaleta told City’s official website: "We are disappointed for the game we played. We didn't play our best. Chelsea probably are one of the best teams at the moment. They are very good defending, they are very aggressive, they defend well at set-pieces [and from] crosses. They kept the clean sheet. They deserved it. They played a good game.
"I think for them it was a special game. They knew and they played well during 90 minutes. I think we missed some important players, unfortunately they were injured and they were a great miss.
"Sometimes when you lose one game it is terrible but we must be stronger than ever. We know we are only two points behind Arsenal and there is still a long way to go. We have got 14 games more to the end of the season. We need to be positive.
"I think the manager [Manuel Pellegrini] is clever enough to work during the week and show to us in video what we did wrong and try to do well next game.
"We still have a chance in four competitions. We have important games coming up in February."