Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany has admitted to FourFourTwo that Chelsea were simply the better side in last season's Premier League.
Jose Mourinho's side stormed to the Premier League title with relative ease, collecting 89 points, despite two 1-1 draws between the two sides at the Etihad Stadium and Stamford Bridge respectively.
Kompany admits that the Blues deserved to wrench the title back to Stamford Bridge, and believes their winning style should be applauded rather than bemoaned.
"Chelsea were the best team in England by far last season," the 29-year-old said. "They played attractive football against the teams they know they could afford to play attractive football against. In matches they knew would be harder, they were very efficient. There's an art to that you have to respect."
In matches they knew would be harder, they were very efficient. There's an art to that you have to respect
A season without silverware opened Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini up to scrutiny after they surrendered their league crown, finishing with seven fewer points than 2013/14, another last 16 Champions League exit and fourth-round knockouts in both domestic cups.
But Kompany insists that nobody's hunger was found wanting despite those questions asked of the Belgian's team.
"We wanted it just as much as we did the year before," said the centre-back. "We're still as hungry, but for some reason we lacked a little bit of sharpness in critical moments.
"We have to be more consistent. Our home form was our strength in the seasons we won the title, but last season it let us down. We had some injuries at bad times. There are so many things that influence a season, and the easiest thing to say is 'they just didn't want it as much'. It doesn't cut it for me."
City rivals Manchester United, meanwhile, are poised for a bigger season than last having spent almost £70 million on new faces this summer.
Last season a 1-0 victory at the Etihad Stadium courtesy of Sergio Aguero allowed them bragging rights until they were beaten 4-2 in the return fixture at Old Trafford. Kompany admits there is even more to City's local tussles than mere proximity for him.
"I hate losing derbies, but you don't play those types of game and win them all – it just doesn't happen," he said. "I've got personal reasons why I want to win those matches more than any other games: my family is very involved in the red and blue divide. When I'm going to visit my kids' grandparents, I want to be the one who's smiling!"
Interview: James Maw
Vincent Kompany wears the New Balance Football Visaro range, a boot designed for players who ‘Make Chances’. To find out more about New Balance Football go to newbalance.com/football or follow @NBFootball on Twitter and Instagram.comments