Yesterday’s goalscorer Cesar Azpilicueta reflected on our inability to press home our advantage when we were on top against Brighton, leaving a window of opportunity open for the Seagulls to get something from the game.
They duly took it with six minutes left of a closely-contested encounter on the South Coast, as Alireza Jahanbakhsh’s spectacular overhead kick cancelled out the skipper’s early strike. Azpilicueta cut a frustrated figure afterwards.
‘It feels like two points dropped, especially with how we started the game,’ he said.
‘The first 25, 30 minutes we were much better than them. We should have scored more goals and killed the game. We know at 1-0 you’re at risk of conceding. It’s up to us to improve in the last third because we could win the game in the first 30 minutes.
‘If we could have transferred the way we were playing into goals in the first part of the game, it would have been easier.’
Azpilicueta’s third goal of the season was a predatory finish after we kept the ball alive from a corner. He has now matched his best-ever tally in a single season (2017/18), although he couldn’t take a great deal of satisfaction from his latest effort.
‘In set-plays we know we have big guys and sometimes the ball can hang around the box. This time it came to me and it helped us get one point, but I would have preferred not to score and to get a clean sheet and win the game.’
At the start of a new year, Azpilicueta also outlined Chelsea’s targets for the months ahead and what is needed to secure a top-four spot.
‘We have to find the consistency to win games back-to-back and get this solidity in the second half of the season.
‘We know we have to improve. We are on our way and hopefully we can have a good rest of the season.’