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Giroud: "No crisis at Chelsea"

Olivier Giroud says Chelsea are not going through a crisis despite winning only one of their last five Premier League games and losing ground on their top-four rivals.

The France international has featured only a handful of times since completing a January move from Arsenal, and Chelsea's form has dipped since the turn of the year.

Despite the Blues slipping down to fifth place, five points behind Tottenham, Giroud insists manager Antonio Conte has not lost the confidence of the players. The reigning champions' poor run continued on Sunday with a defeat to runaway leaders Manchester City at the Etihad stadium.

Conte opted to start the game with both his recognised strikers Giroud and Alvaro Morata on the bench, and was widely criticised for his tactics throughout the match.

"I don't even question myself about that - it is not a crisis. We have played (Manchester) United and City away. Obviously we could have done better but these are not small games," said Giroud.

"We are not happy with that [but] it is not the day and the moment to question whether we are behind the boss or not. Obviously we are behind him and we are all sticking together."

The club's poor recent run has left them facing the possibility of missing out on Champions League qualification for the second time in three years, while an upcoming clash with Barcelona at the Nou Camp next week will determine whether they proceed in the tournament this campaign.

"It is not a good weekend for us because our opponents in the Champions League race won," Giroud added.

"But we still have nine games to go. We will believe until the end and keep the faith in our game.

"Some top teams will play against each other - you never know. We need to keep the focus on this and win the next game and go step by step. We need momentum to reach fourth place."