Antonio Conte accepted that retaining the Premier League title is “impossible” after West Ham inflicted Chelsea’s fourth defeat in 16 matches this season.
Marko Arnautovic gave the Hammers the lead after just six minutes and that proved to be the crucial goal, as David Moyes’ men held on for a 1-0 London derby win.
And that result leaves them 11 points behind pacesetters Manchester City, a figure which could be increased after Sunday’s Manchester derby.
“To talk about the title race after a defeat I think is a bit strange,” Conte told reporters in his post-match news conference.
“Especially as this is the fourth defeat this season in 16 games. When you have this task, it is impossible to think that you are in the title race.
“It is impossible. My experience is this, if you want to stay in the race for the title, in the first part of the season you can lose once, twice.”