New Delhi: Antonio Conte, the manager of Chelsea, conceded that retaining the English Premier League title is “impossible” after the Blues were defeated by West Ham in their last fixture. The defending champions, who have already suffered four losses in this season, have now dropped 16 points, just five short of the entire number they conceded in 2016-17.

“To speak about the title race after a defeat is a bit strange, especially if this is the fourth defeat of the season, after 16 games. When you have that it’s impossible to think you are in the race, my experience tells me if you want to stay in the race in the first part of the season you can lose once or twice. After 16 games, if you lose four, it means you never started this race,” said Conte.

He added, “I said before that this season would be very, very tough, very difficult, and this is the truth. If you want to stay in the title race, you must give continuity – continuity in the result. This is not our case this season.”

Meanwhile, West Ham put up a solid display to beat Chelsea 1-0 at home. It was Marko Arnautovic’s early goal which led David Moyes’s men to victory. The loss left Chelsea 11 points adrift of leaders Manchester City.