Benitez rows with Chelsea squad after criticising players’ effort

Rafael Benitez laid into his Chelsea players the day after the defeat to Manchester City in the Premier League, only for the players – including captain John Terry – to stand their corner, with one suggesting the Spaniard is at fault for their poor results, the Daily Mail has reported.

Benitez is said by the newspaper to have “lectured” the players on tactics and criticised them over a lack of effort. The former Liverpool boss is also alleged to have accused the players of not trying since Roberto Di Matteo was sacked in November, claiming they had gotten a number of managers sacked with their lack of application.

But the Mail adds one of the players, who remains unnamed, replied that this is the same team that won the Champions League – Chelsea beat Bayern Munich on penalties in the final in May last year, with a number of the squad remaining from then to now.

Terry, who did not play in the 2-0 loss to champions City, defended his teammates, having been singled out by Benitez for a comment he made in the dressing room following the match at the Etihad Stadium.

The row comes just days before Chelsea play Middlesbrough in the fifth round of the FA Cup at the Championship outfit’s Riverside Stadium. Chelsea have now dropped to fourth in the Premier League by virtue of Tottenham Hotspur’s win over West Ham on Monday evening.

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