Maurizio Sarri launched an astonishing attack on his Chelsea players after their 2-0 defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
Goals from Alexandre Lacazette and Laurent Koscielny secured a fourth Premier League defeat of the season for the Blues in a game where they were comfortably second best.
The result breathes new life into the race for the final Champions League spots, with fifth-placed Arsenal now three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.
The manner of his side’s display left Sarri furious and he tore into the mentality of his players after the match, accusing them of being difficult to motivate in league matches.
In fact, Sarri was so angry that he refused to do his interview with talkSPORT’s Sam Matterface in English in order to ensure he got the message he wanted to across to his squad.
He instead released a statement in Italian which Sam read out on air.
It read: “I am extremely angry, very angry indeed.
“This defeat was due to our mentality and I cannot accept it. We had a similar issue against Tottenham [where they lost 3-1 in November].
“In the league it appears this group of players are extremely difficult to motivate.
“From a technical point of view both teams were on the same sort of level but they [Arsenal] had a higher level of determination in both penalty areas.
“Tactics do not come into it. I cannot say I’m not partly responsible for the defeat. We have to share it.
“This is not a team that’s going to be known for its battling qualities but we need to become a team that’s capable of adapting, possibly capable of suffering for 10 or 15 minutes and then playing our own football.
“We didn’t play our own football.”
Sarri continued to rage at his players in his press conference, adding: “It seems to me that, as a group of players, they’re not particularly aggressive from a mental point of view,” he added.
“They don’t have that ferocity in their mentality. That’s down to the type of players they are, their characteristics.
“It’s something that is difficult to change. It could take quite a long time.”
Arsenal boss Unai Emery, in contrast, praised his players’ efforts.
Defeat would have left Arsenal nine points adrift of the top four, following last week’s loss to West Ham.
Now they are well in the hunt and Emery wants consistency in performances.
Emery said: “Today, every circumstance came with us. The mentality was good.
“And we want to have the same mentality today at home and away – which we haven’t yet.”
The one down side was the knee injury to Hector Bellerin, which saw the right back carried off.
“We have to wait until tomorrow, but first impressions are not positive,” Emery added.