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Azpilicueta: Ambition and ability

Cesar Azpilicueta believes a combination of hard preparation on the training ground and the determination not to go two league games without a win carried the team to victory on Sunday.

The Spaniard was the captain in the absence of Gary Cahill and he acknowledges taking on Tottenham away was a very tough way to bounce back from the Burnley defeat, which made the sense of achievement afterwards even greater.

‘We know that at Chelsea, when you don’t win you have to accept it but it is difficult as we fight to win every game,’ he said. ‘But we have experience enough to cope with it, we are winners and we work on the training ground even harder to come back to winning ways, and we did it in a difficult game.

‘Last season, Tottenham did not lose any games at home.’

Azpilicueta played in an otherwise unfamiliar back three, with David Luiz adding an extra man to midfield and a two-pronged attack of Willian supporting Alvaro Morata up front.  

‘We trained with the system,’ the defender said. ‘The manager made the decision to try to put the best possible shape in the game and it worked. We needed this win and we have worked really hard and we are really happy to come out with the win.’

He is not surprised it was his compatriot Marcos Alonso who produced the goods in front of the target.

‘Marcos has this ability to score goals. Last season he scored six in the Premier League and it was a big amount of goals for a wing-back.

‘On Sunday he showed it with a free-kick. He trains these quite frequently and sometimes [last season] he hit the post in games and he was not very happy. In the last two minutes when he was up the field to try to score the goal, it showed the ambition of the team. We were not happy just to draw.’