Marcos Alonso has praised the professionalism of his Chelsea team-mates for securing an impressive Champions League win at Lille in difficult circumstances.
The Blues progressed to the last eight of the competition we won back in May after coming from behind to beat Lille 2-1 in northern France, 4-1 on aggregate, thanks to goals from Christian Pulisic and Cesar Azpilicueta.
With plenty of off-field noise given the sanctions currently imposed on Owner Roman Abramovich, Alonso – who was making his 200th appearance in Chelsea blue – feels much credit should be given to the players for the way they tackled the challenge of the Ligue 1 side.
‘We expected a tough game against a tough side, in a big stadium with passionate fans and that’s what we got,’ Alonso explained post-match.
‘It’s the Champions League, so these are the challenges you face. We never gave up, we kept fighting until the end and we are very happy with the result and to go through to the quarter-final.
‘I think both games were similar, Lille are a strong opponent. We conceded a strange goal with VAR but we never gave up, we kept fighting and we got an important win to certify that we would be in the next round.
‘We performed well and deserved this victory.’
Alonso returned to the side on a milestone appearance for himself, while on the other flank returned fellow Spaniard Azpilicueta, two of five changes made by Thomas Tuchel.
The skipper netted the winning goal and afterwards Alonso had plenty of praise to dish out to Azpi and head coach Tuchel.
‘Both of them are very important pieces of this team,’ added Marcos. ‘We are showing that we are together and a very good group of men.
‘The manager and the captain and clearly very important parts of the team and we follow them. We focus on getting the results on the pitch, with them leading us, and hopefully things can get back to normal soon.
‘We need to focus on the football. That is what we can control, so we will just continue to work hard and be together with all the staff – both at the stadium and the training ground – everyone needs to be together as one.
‘We will concentrate on the football and try and win as many games as we can and then hopefully things off the pitch can be sorted out soon.’