AZPILICUETA: MIXED FEELINGS
Cesar Azpilicueta was disappointed to be beaten by Manchester City in St Louis on Thursday night, but delighted to score his first goal in Chelsea colours.
The Spaniard, a regular at right-back throughout the final two-thirds of the season, featured for the first half last night on the wing, and, when Juan Mata was fouled inside the area, stepped up to take the penalty, despatching it low into the bottom corner beyond Joe Hart's dive.
'We are a bit tired, it's normal at the end of the season, and after the travel, and this kind of pitch is a bit different, but I was happy with my goal!' Azpilicueta told Chelsea TV afterwards. 'We spoke before the game, if we had a penalty maybe I could shoot it and that was the case.
'Shooting penalties is another thing I've never done, I try to improve and in this case Juan gave it to me,' continued the 23-year-old. 'Before the game everybody was joking, because I was playing as a right winger, that hopefully I would score my first goal.
'I'm not used to taking penalties but I practice a lot and I try to improve every part of my game.'
Having led 3-0, we were eventually beaten 4-3 by City, which left a bitter taste after an entertaining encounter, but there will be a chance to get even in New York on Saturday.
'We expected a different game,' Azpilicueta said. 'Everyone wanted to compete and do a good game, but the pace was really high and they created a lot of chances. It was a very open game.
'We are competitive players and we want every time to win, so even if it's a friendly game on a tour after the season, everybody wanted to win.
'After we were winning 3-0 and lost 4-3, it's a strange feeling, so we look forward to the game on Saturday and we will try to win it.'
Joining Azpilicueta in the line-up for the first time were Academy pair Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Andreas Christensen, who both gave encouraging performances.
'Ruben and Andreas played a really good game,' he said. 'It's not easy against Manchester City with their players, but I think they were very good. Nathan Ake also had 15 minutes on the pitch, but he is more used to it than them. They have a really great future in front of them.'