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We lacked spirit

Carlo Ancelotti has admitted that his Chelsea team lacked ‘fighting spirit’ yesterday, as their makeshift defence took an absolute pasting from a well-drilled and hungry Sunderland.

The Blues were hammered 3-0 at Stamford Bridge by a team that they had walloped 7-2 in the equivalent fixture last season. It was the first time anyone had beaten them by that score at home in eight years, and it was they had even conceded a goal at home in the league since March. However, despite injuries to John Terry and Alex meaning that they had to play with four full-backs across their backline, Ancelotti wasn’t impressed with their attitude.

‘I don't think this result had anything to do with what happened to Ray,’ Ancelotti said. ‘We lost because Sunderland played better than us. We played our worst game of the season. It was probably the worst we've played since I came here.

‘But, in football, this can happen if you're not at your best and don't play with your best mentality. This was a surprise, a strange result, but we didn't play a good game. Sunderland played a fantastic game with more fighting spirit, more attitude and the right mentality. It's normal to lose if you don't show this kind of mentality. Nobody played well.

‘It was a bad day. We will have a meeting about it and look at what happened. I'm not disappointed about the crowd. I heard it [the boos] when I took Malouda off for Kalou. Maybe this was wrong but that's how I saw it from the bench. But I still think the squad is strong enough. We're not happy, because, above all, at home we have to play with a different mentality. But I hope we come back in the right way.’

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