Antonio Conte has warned Chelsea that Manchester City’s Premier League title victory can lead to them dominating English football in the coming years.
City were crowned champions on Sunday when Manchester United lost to West Brom, and with five games remaining they can still break Chelsea’s record points tally of 95.
Conte has repeatedly criticised his club’s hierarchy this season for what he considers a lack of investment that has undermined their title defence.
The Italian cited City’s ambition and willingness to continue spending and backing their manager Pep Guardiola as a reason why they will continue to excel.
The Chelsea manager, who is not expected to remain at Stamford Bridge beyond the end of the season, said: “Manchester City is one club that can continue to dominate, to win. Not only in England but also to fight for the Champions League.
“They have the possibility to do this; it is a very strong club, they have an important squad with great players, and are a club that want to invest and improve. There are a lot of things that are right.
“They have dominated this season and it’s right to compliment them on winning this league; this league is not simple to win.
“The way they did it was incredible. They did a great job on and off the pitch; they were very well prepared for the season. I like the way they improved the team and the squad.”
Chelsea, whose wing-back Marcos Alonso could yet be suspended by the Football Association following a charge of violent conduct for his tackle on Shane Long during Saturday’s victory at Southampton, visit Burnley on Thursday evening.
Their hopes of an unlikely top-four finish have been strengthened by Tottenham dropping five points in their past two games, meaning Conte’s team could cut the deficit to five points.
“We have to try until the end to reach this target,” Conte said.
“If we want to be realistic with five games to go it is not simple to reduce the gap but we must have the will to fight. We must have the desire to try and take this target and why not?
“We have an important game against a really strong team.
“It won’t be easy to get three points but we have to try in every game to do our best and try to avoid what happened against Southampton in the first 60 minutes, because we played badly not only in a tactical and technical aspect but also in spirit.
“We have to avoid this if we want to keep the hope to finish in the top four.”