Chelsea had an opportunity to increase the point gap ahead of Arsenal to nine points, but the Blues suffered a 2-0 defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
After the game, Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri revealed he was unhappy with the team’s display and the mentality of the player against an Arsenal side that have been in poor form of recent.
“I have to say that I am extremely angry because this defeat was about our mentality,” he said.
“They were far more determined than we were, I can’t accept that. It was similar to Spurs, I spoke to the players and I thought it was solved.
“I want to talk about the tactics but it would appear that this group of players are very difficult to motivate.”
Sarri’s insistence to play Eden Hazard as a false nine hasn’t worked, and the Chelsea star was once again deployed as a striker against the Gunners.
Hazard found it difficult again in that role and failed to trouble Arsenal’s defence at the Emirates. By the time Sarri decided to introduce Olivier Giroud with 25 minutes left, the game looked done and dusted in Arsenal’s favour.
Chelsea have been linked with Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain who’s on loan to AC Milan, and reports claim that a six-month loan deal has been agreed for the 31-year-old.
Asked whether there had been any developments, Sarri said after the Arsenal loss: “I don’t want to talk about that.
“I met with leadership 15 days ago and I’m sure that they’re doing the best to acquire the players that they can in a difficult market like January.
“I don’t want to spend all day thinking about it, also because it really bores me.
“Is Higuain the player I want? He’s been on the list, but I don’t know how the situation has evolved.”
Chelsea are hoping to sign Higuain as soon as possible, and according to the Daily Express, the Blues hope to get the deal done before Wednesday so that the Argentine can be registered for Thursday’s Carabao Cup semi-final against Tottenham.
Spurs have a 1-0 lead going into the second leg at Stamford Bridge and Sarri will be desperate to have the star striker who scored over 30 goals in a season during their time together at Napoli.