Chelsea skipper Cesar Azpilicueta has urged his team to throw caution to the wind and have a go at Sevilla in their UEFA Champions League match-up. The Spaniard is desperate for his team to avoid a repeat of last season’s group stage opener where the Blues went down to a defeat.
Chelsea kicked off their 2019/20 UEFA Champions League campaign with a home game against Valencia in the group stages. Everyone expected Frank Lampard’s side to cruise to a win in their opening game, but much to everyone’s shock, the Blues succumbed to a defeat at the hands of the La Liga side.
It put them on the back foot immediately and Chelsea endured a draining qualification to the knockout stages. The Blues were then eliminated in the last 16 stages by eventual champions Bayern Munich.
The Chelsea skipper, as such, hopes that his team have taken a lesson from the previous season and is desperate to put his best foot forward this year.
Azpilicueta wants Chelsea to start well and then go on a strong run
On Tuesday, Chelsea welcome Europa League winners Sevilla to the Stamford Bridge, and having worked with current Sevilla manager Julen Lopetegui in the Spanish team, Azpilicueta is rallying for a strong start. The Chelsea skipper remembered his team’s struggles last season and expressed a belief that the Blues had learnt a lesson.
That's the way sometimes - a group goes up to the last second. We knew last year that we had to fight to qualify after we lost the first game at home against Valencia. That put us in a difficult position, but we were able to recover with two wins in the next games. Hopefully, we have learned from that.
The Spaniard insisted that Chelsea must start well and then go on a strong run.
With our first game at home again, we have to start strong and then kick on.
Azpilicueta showered praise on Sevilla and their manager but reiterated that Chelsea have to ‘go for it’ to achieve success.
Sevilla have shown their quality - they are Europa League champions. I know Lopetegui, who was the manager of Spain. They are going to be a dangerous team but it's our first game of this group, we are at home against them, and we have to go for it.
The Blues have enjoyed a slow start to their new season after a massive squad overhaul in the summer. They are out of the EFL Cup and are 7th in the table after 5 games, with 2 wins, 2 draws, and a defeat, so far in the Premier League.
They arrive in this game on the back of a draining 3-3 draw against Southampton and Lampard will be desperate to avoid a repeat of last season’s group stage woes.Published 20 Oct 2020, 00:16 IST