Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho accused some of his players of lacking the right mentality and ‘disappearing’ after the 1-0 defeat against Crystal Palace.
The Blues are top of the Premier League but Liverpool and Manchester City both have games in hand.
Mourinho was quick to praise defenders Branislav Ivanovic, Cesar Azpilicueta, John Terry and Gary Cahill but said his midfielders and attackers lacked “mentality and a little bit of quality”.
“Mentality because the opponent beat us clearly on that,” Mourinho explained.
“Ivanovic, Azpilicueta, Cahill, Terry – they perform in the sun, in the rain, on small pitches, on big pitches, against aggressive teams – not aggressive teams, possession teams and not possession teams. They perform every game from day one to the last day.
“You have other players who are fantastic in some matches and they disappear in other matches, and you can find easily in these matches something in common.”
Mourinho also praised Palace, who produced a resolute display to pick up three potentially crucial points in their battle to stay in the Premier League.
“They had a strong mentality, were aggressive and committed, with every one one of them playing in the top of their potential,” he said.
“In the first half we could have scored before them in and in the second half we had chances to equalise before they had chances on the counter-attack. But even so it is fair to say they deserved it.”