It is not just Arsenal and Manchester United who are in our sights in the Premier League but also Tottenham confirmed Cesar Azpilicueta after Sunday’s win in the SW6 derby.
By beating Fulham so soon after defeating Spurs, the Blues lie one and two points behind the Gunners and Man United respectively, and have closed to within five of Tottenham. We have a game in hand over them all.
‘Now after the last results, Tottenham is in the race to make the top four, that is clear,’ noted Azpilicueta.
‘It is in our hands to make it possible, so we have 10 games remaining and now we have to fight. We have two games in the Premier League before the international break, we have to be focused on those, and two legs of the Europa League and let’s see where we can finish, but our aim as always at Chelsea is to try to finish as high as possible.
‘It was an important game for us,’ he says of Sunday’s outing at Craven Cottage, ‘because we were coming from a good game against Tottenham and we won that so we needed consistency. We were coming to a tough place, Fulham are fighting relegation, and in the first half we were much better, we controlled the game and we created a lot of chances to be more comfortable in the game.
‘In the second half we expected a reaction from them, they did a very good second half and they pushed us a lot until the end and we were not able to control that. Sometimes in football you have to dig in and I am pleased with his because a few weeks ago we were not able to do this if things were not going our way, we were quite weak, so I am pleased because during the season you have to work and to suffer and on this day we went away with the three points.’
It was Azpilicueta who supplied the ammunition with which Gonzalo Higuain emphatically hit the target to give the Blues the lead at Fulham, and after Jorginho had restored our advantage following the home side’s equaliser, our on-pitch captain and newest striker almost combined again for what would have been a goal had not been for the reactions of Sergio Rico in the Whites’ goal.
Azpilicueta spoke about the link-up with Higuain.
‘It is something we are trying to improve on when we get into those areas, to try to find the right pass. Gonzalo is very clever in his movements and it is true that the two actions were more or less copy and paste. It was unlucky and it was a very good save with the second chance.’
He also had words on Kepa Arrizabalaga who was back between our posts.
‘He made a couple of good saves. This is all done [the follow-up from the Wembley incident] and now we have to be focused on the last two-and-a-half months we have. We have important games coming up. We need from everybody, the squad is ready to fight for everything and we have been working really hard. Now we have to try to get to the targets that we want.’