Cesar Azpilicueta lamented the team’s second-half performance at Bournemouth last night and spoke of the anger in the dressing room after a result that dropped us out of the top four.
The Blues had started the better in Dorset without scoring, but we then conceded four unanswered goals after the interval, making this our joint-heaviest loss in the Premier League era, and our worst defeat in all competitions in over 17 years.
Azpilicueta did not make any excuses afterwards and highlighted the need for answers to be found quickly.
‘Everything went wrong from the first minute of the second half,’ he said.
‘We conceded an early goal, and then when we were closer to equalising we conceded a second. After that, we didn’t have the reaction we should have. Conceding four goals is unacceptable, and we are very angry with that.
‘Afterwards we spoke as men between the manager and the players. It was a very tough result after two wins in the cup. We expected another result tonight. 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. We are very angry. It is unacceptable for Chelsea and we have to find the solutions.’
The margin of the defeat has moved us out of the top four for the first time this season, with Arsenal now ahead of us on goals scored.
With just over a third of the league campaign remaining, Azpilicueta assessed the state of play in the hunt for a Champions League berth for next term.
‘It’s very tight. 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.
‘We have to push and look at ourselves, and to improve. The first step is to be humble and to come back in a strong way with three points.
‘We still have 14 games to go,’ added Azpilicueta. ‘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.’