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Arsenal have closed the gap on Chelsea at the top of the table and Arsene Wenger’s side have a game in hand – see all the latest Premiership outright betting here.

Florent Malouda has denied criticising Frank Lampard in an interview in France and insists he wants to stay at Chelsea.

At the weekend, Malouda was quoted as telling L’Equipe that he was “ready to look elsewhere” and suggesting that Lampard’s form did not merit a place in the side.

However, speaking after the 5-0 thrashing of Watford in the FA Cup on Sunday, Malouda claimed that he had not made any negative comments about his team-mate.

“Nothing that you could read today came out of my mouth,” he told the club’s official website. “I was really shocked and surprised when I came and we had a meeting at quarter-to-12 when I discovered my words.

“My reaction was to go and talk with the manager and talk with Lamps and the meeting was clear. The rest I don’t want to talk about that because they did it on purpose and tried to put trouble in our team.

“I would say that is disgusting and that is why I am proud of the way we played tonight because that is the best way to answer and to show that we are partners and we are all trying to win things together. Me and Lamps have played together in the past and we will play together in the future

“I did an interview in France and I said I am here in Chelsea to try to do a career like Ryan Giggs and like Javier Zanetti at Inter, which is why I am looking for the future. I have too much respect for the fans to speak in those terms and for me it is clear: the story finished.”

He added: “I hope the fans give support to the team because when people write things like this they are trying to put trouble into the team and we are so good and we cannot afford this.”

Arsenal have closed the gap on Chelsea at the top of the table and Arsene Wenger’s side have a game in hand – see all the latest Premiership outright betting here.

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