Bernardo Silva's second-half goal was enough to secure a 1-0 win for the incumbent Premier League champions.
Much like against Barcelona, Conte set his team up to try and catch the opposition on the counter. But unlike at Stamford Bridge two weeks ago, Chelsea lacked the necessary fluidity going forward at the Etihad.
"We didn't utilise the counter-attack as well as we could have done," Drinkwater told the club's website.
"We were sloppy on the ball sometimes. We were running a lot off the ball so it's about finding the balance.
"It's frustrating because we could have drawn 0-0 and that wouldn't have been a bad result."