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Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri questioned the mentality of his players after Chelsea’s 2-0 loss at Arsenal which reduced our gap over Arsenal to just three points in the Premier League.

Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud admitted after the win over Tottenham that Sarri was right to criticize the players following their performance against Arsenal. Giroud also revealed the players discussed their performance against Arsenal among themselves and resolved to put it right against Tottenham.

Giroud came off the bench in the defeat at Arsenal but started the Carabao Cup victory over Tottenham on Thursday at Stamford Bridge.

Asked if Sarri’s criticism of the players was fair, Giroud said: “Yes, I mean you can see from the start that you are not really in the game when you miss passes and you lose duels. That’s the first thing in football. We didn’t want to talk too much about that but we knew we wanted to have a strong reaction.

“We had to show something else [against Tottenham]: strong character, team character, the team monster on the pitch. We showed that straight away, that we wanted to bounce back. We did very well pressing the ball, covering the ball, and the boss is always talking about that.

“We are professionals, we know we can play well and that we need to do more.

“We talked between us but afterwards you have to put the action on pitch.”

Chelsea completed the loan signing of Gonzalo Higuain from Juventus last week and is likely to make his debut in the FA Cup game against Sheffield Wednesday later today.

Giroud believes the signing of Higuain is a good thing for the club as it will help him step up his game and fight to be competitive.

“I think it will help me to step up again, and keep me fighting to be competitive by working hard in training,” Giroud said of Higuain’s arrival.

“I also hope that he will help us to win trophies.”

Meanwhile, Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has explained why he started Olivier Giroud against Tottenham.

Sarri said: “I saw in last two or three trainings, something very interesting, but on the pitch is the most important thing.

“In the last match [against Spurs] I didn’t like how we attacked the opposition box, so tonight I thought we needed a true nine.”

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