Cesar Azpilicueta has urged Chelsea to bounce back from their 1-0 loss at the hands of Leicester at Stamford Bridge at the weekend.
Jamie Vardy struck just minutes after the interval to give the Foxes a rare victory over the Blues at west London in what was a missed opportunity for Maurizio Sarri’s side as they could have closed the gap on second-placed Manchester City, who suffered a shock 3-2 home defeat against Crystal Palace. The setback left Chelsea hanging on to fourth place in the standings, 11 points adrift of pace-setters Liverpool, while also leading fifth-placed Arsenal only on goal difference.
Azpilicueta has expressed his frustration at the disappointing loss at Stamford Bridge, pointing out Leicester’s killer instinct in taking their chances when it mattered. Nonetheless, the Spanish international fullback urged his teammates to minimise their errors and continue on improving especially with their two remaining matches before the new year to be played away.
“It’s really disappointing, but we don’t have another option, this game is finished; we have to analyse and improve the mistakes we made, to carry on the things we did well,” said the Blues skipper. “And we have two away games before the turn of the year and hopefully we can get the points, because we need them.
“We are really disappointed with the result, it’s true we had chances to score a goal and to win the game. But the truth is they were efficient, and they held their lead after scoring until the end.”
Hazard struck the crossbar just after the half-hour mark to illustrate Chelsea’s supremacy in the early stages yet after Vardy’s sweetly struck goal in the 51st minute, Claude Puel’s side looked more settled, leaving the Blues unable to find a way through, with their best chance in the second half a Marcos Alonso driller that only hit the post in stoppage time.
“We finished the first half very well, we were in control of the game, we had chances, we were dangerous,” Azpilicueta added. “But then we conceded five or six minutes into the second half, and they were more comfortable at 1-0. Their plan was to contain, and obviously we were trying to find the solution, but we were not even able to score for 1-1, and then we were in trouble.
“We know that the Premier League is very tough, but our target is to win every game, and when we don’t win we are disappointed. So we have to analyse and improve for the next game. In four days we have a tough game again, and we have to be ready to get the points.”