A seething Maurizio Sarri accused his Chelsea players of lacking motivation during their 2-0 Premier League defeat at Arsenal.
Alexandre Lacazette fashioned a brilliant 14th-minute opener and, although Marcos Alonso hit the post shortly after Laurent Koscielny doubled the Gunners’ advantage, Chelsea seldom threatened in a limp display.
The parallels between this loss at the 3-1 defeat at Tottenham in November were clear to Sarri, who appeared on BT Sport with an interpreter to ensure his displeasure was communicated clearly.
“I’m really angry about the approach that we adopted today,” he said. “I understand that against strong teams you can find yourself in difficulties from time to time but we have to react a lot better.”
Having delayed his television interview to undertake a lengthy post-match address in the away dressing room, the former Napoli boss continued: “Obviously it’s part of my job to talk to the team.
“It’s an approach that we cannot accept. It was the same against Tottenham.
“We thought we’d overcome that problem but it seems to me we are finding it really hard to be motivated, to get ourselves up for these games at times.
“I don’t mind losing but I don’t like losing in this manner.”
In his post-match news conference, again using his interpreter, Sarri was even more scathing.
“I am extremely angry because this defeat was down to our mentality. We played against a team far more determined than we were and this is something I can’t accept,” he said.
“It would appear that this group of players is extremely difficult to motivate.
“When you see this kind of a game, we can’t really talk about tactics. From a technical point of view the teams are on the same level but they were more determined than us.
“It seems that as a group of players they’re not aggressive from a mental point of view. It’s something difficult to change because you have to influence their mentality and that could take time.”
Chelsea remain fourth in the Premier League, occupying the final Champions League qualification spot, but they are now only three points ahead of both Arsenal and Manchester United.
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