Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas isn’t concerned by how easily Manchester City outplayed Antonio Conte’s team. Photo: Will Oliver/EPA

LONDON – Cesc Fabregas claims Chelsea’s damaging defeat against Manchester City was caused by the Premier League champions being more fatigued than their title rivals.

Kevin de Bruyne’s superb strike gave City a 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, and Pep Guardiola’s table-toppers are now six points clear of Chelsea heading into the international break.

Chelsea midfielder Fabregas isn’t concerned by how easily City outplayed Antonio Conte’s team, because he believes a quirk of the midweek Champions League fixture schedule was behind the Blues’ lethargic performance.

City beat Shakhtar Donetsk at home on Tuesday, while Chelsea had to travel to Spain for their win against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday, meaning the Manchester side had an extra 24 hours to rest and hone their game plan for the trip to the Bridge.

“This was without a doubt the same Chelsea of last season, but what happened was that we came up against a City side that went into the game much better rested than we did. Nothing more,” Fabregas told Chelsea’s website.

“This time last year we were eight points behind, but it doesn’t mean anything. There is still a long way to go in all competitions.”