Cesar Azpilicueta has revealed Chelsea players and manager Maurizio Sarri “spoke like men” after a lengthy dressing room debrief following their heavy defeat at Bournemouth.
The Cherries ran roughshod over the Chelsea defence in the second half of Wednesday’s Premier League game at the Vitality Stadium to secure a 4-0 win.
After heading in goalless at the interval, Joshua King struck twice while further goals from David Brooks and Charlie Daniels sealed a memorable victory for Eddie Howe’s side and condemned the Blues to their worst league defeat in 23 years.
Sarri asked his backroom staff to leave the away dressing room to discuss the second-half capitulation alone with his squad, but admitted afterwards that he was still none the wiser as to why his side under-performed.
“Afterwards we spoke as men between the manager and the players,” Azpilicueta told the club’s official website.
“We are very angry. It is unacceptable for Chelsea and we have to find the solutions.
“Conceding four goals is unacceptable, and we are very angry with that. We expected another result. To lose 4-0 as Chelsea players is unacceptable.
‘We spoke and in three days’ time we have another game. We have to be more consistent because 10 days ago we lost against Arsenal, we had a really bad game there, then we played two good games in the cup. To drop back again is really frustrating.”
The manner of the defeat means Chelsea drop out of the top four, with London rivals Arsenal taking their place by virtue of goals scored.
Bottom club Huddersfield are the visitors to Stamford Bridge on Saturday, with Azpilicueta admitting the game has taken on significant importance for Sarri’s men.
“It (the battle for the top four) is very tight,” he added.
“Two weeks ago we were in a better position. We have put ourselves at risk. We are in trouble after dropping six points in the last two games.
“It’s become harder but we have to get the three points on Saturday, there is no other option.
“The target is to qualify: the minimum we should do is qualify for the Champions League. It’s very important, the minimum Chelsea require, and we will fight hard to get that position.”
While Bournemouth’s attacking play led to the Chelsea inquest, their defence also earned praise from manager Eddie Howe.
Having kept just two clean sheets since October, Howe saw his side keep out West Ham in a recent 2-0 win before another fine display against Chelsea, with centre-back Nathan Ake insisting that has to be the benchmark moving forward.
“I think you can imagine it was very good, everyone is delighted,” he said.
“For sure this goes in the history books of the club, everyone fought really well. We had to make sure we kept a clean sheet and we did.
“I think the whole team knew at one point we were just going to get it again, our team is good enough to do that. We have been through a tough spell..we just have to keep it going now.”