Carlo Ancelotti admitted Chelsea had been over-powered by Manchester City as the champions slumped to their first Premier League defeat of the season.
Ancelotti's side swaggered into Eastlands on the back of five successive league victories, with 21 goals scored and just one conceded, but their rampant run ground to a halt as City won the midfield battle and stole the points thanks to a second half goal from Carlos Tevez.
The Blues were unable to deal with City's powerful midfield trio of Nigel De Jong, Yaya Toure and Gareth Barry and Ancelotti conceded his team were never allowed to get into their stride.
"We didn't play how we wanted. We suffered from the pressure that City put on us in midfield," Ancelotti told Sky Sports. "We had difficulties because we complicated our play and didn't have the chance to show our quality.
"City played well. They used a lot of power, won a lot of tackles and for this reason I think they deserved to win. We didn't have a lot of chances. There wasn't much space to attack."
Ancelotti also defended his decision to substitute star striker Didier Drogba with 15 minutes to play. Drogba appeared unhappy at being replaced by young forward Daniel Sturridge and Ancelotti said: "It was not an injury. It was a tactical decision. I wanted to use more speed with Sturridge down the right side."
Earlier this week City boss Roberto Mancini proclaimed Chelsea as certainties to retain the title and the Italian sent his team out with a cautious approach. But, after a win that moved City within four points of the leaders, Mancini insisted his tactics were justified by the result.
"It is normal to be more cautious in this type of match," Mancini said. "After five games they scored 21 goals, they are a fantastic team but our guys played a strong match.
"When we play against Chelsea you must pay more attention to their players. If they can find space it is difficult, but we stopped them doing that and when we had a chance to score we took it."
De Jong felt his side's relentless pressing had knocked Chelsea out of their stride. "From the first minute we put the pressure on," De Jong said. "If you saw how we defended from the front to the back that's why we kept a clean sheet."