Cesar Azpilicueta chose a timely moment to end a year-long wait for a goal and the skipper had Callum Hudson-Odoi to thank afterwards as the pair combined to good effect.
Forty minutes had elapsed in our game against Burnley without the Blues breaking the deadlock despite getting into some promising areas. On the back of a goalless draw with Wolves the team could have started getting nervy in front of goal, but Azpilicueta showed a cool head to fire into the roof of the net from Hudson-Odoi’s cute reverse pass.
It gave us a welcome boost with half-time approaching.
‘I saw the opportunity in front to run,’ described Azpi.
‘Callum did very well because he drove at the defenders which created the space for me. When I arrived I didn’t have much time to think, just to hit it as quick as possible.
‘Luckily it went in and it helped the team. It has been over a year that I didn’t score a goal. I am not used to it but it was good to get the win, and not just that, how we did it was important.
‘It was a very good performance. The team controlled the game totally. We moved the ball, created chances, we defended very well. We didn’t concede a shot on goal so it was a solid performance. It’s a good step.’
Joining Azpilicueta on the scoresheet was Marcos Alonso, who capped his return to the side after four months with a majestic volley that sealed the victory late on.
The captain believes his compatriot’s return and impact only serves to highlight the depth of our squad, which he says bodes well with a busy second half of the season now well underway.
‘Marcos has shown his quality in the box, and scored a lot of important goals for us,’ noted Azpilicueta.
‘He was back in the team and I am pleased with his performance and his goal. We know what he can give the team in his position.
‘Everybody in the squad is important. Everybody started from zero with the new manager and we have to keep that competition. It’s healthy and it gives people opportunities.
‘We are far from where we want but with the new manager we have the second part of the season and everything to play for,’ added Azpi.
‘Everybody is very ambitious so let’s keep working and Thursday we have a very important game.’