As we continue our series reviewing each Chelsea player’s season just gone, it’s now the turn of captain Cesar Azpilicueta to be our focus…
Starting with silverware
Just a few months on from lifting the Champions League trophy aloft in Porto, Azpilicueta had his hands on another European trophy as the Blues defeated Villarreal in the Super Cup in Belfast to kick-off the new campaign in style.
Although the skipper started the game on the bench, allowing for extra rest following his time at Euro 2020 with Spain in the summer, he came on to have a big impact in our victory that was eventually decided on penalties.
He replaced Callum Hudson-Odoi at right wing-back with around eight minutes left to play before going on to emphatically fire home his penalty in the spot-kick win, which came courtesy of a Kepa Arrizabalaga save, and was on hand to lift another trophy to spark the celebrations in Northern Ireland.
Showing his versatility
Azpi was used frequently by Thomas Tuchel in the opening months of the season, featuring in a number of positions.
With our German head coach predominately using a back three with wing-backs, the Spaniard was deployed either as a right wing-back or as a right centre-back.
With his crossing ability from the right flank, Cesar registered two assists as Chelsea started the season strongly – laying on goals for Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner in our home wins over Aston Villa and Southampton respectively.
Spell out of the side
While usually one of the first names on the teamsheet throughout his Chelsea career, Azpilicueta did endure a run of five games as an unused substitute throughout the end of October and into November.
The Blues picked up 11 points from those five games, including a 7-0 win over Norwich and a pair of 3-0 away victories at Newcastle and Leicester, as Tuchel often selected Reece James and Ben Chilwell as his flying wing-backs as the Blues ended November top of the Premier League table.
He’s won it all!
Azpi did return to the side in December, as the fixtures piled up for the Blues, before then leading Chelsea into the Club World Cup in February.
The skipper featured in both the semi-final and the final in Abu Dhabi, as the Blues won the competition for the first time in our history and that meant Azpilicueta had added every possible major club trophy available to him to his CV.
Although we fell agonisingly short of claiming the Carabao Cup and FA Cup this season – both times edged out by Liverpool on penalties at Wembley – it was another season of silverware for Azpilicueta and Chelsea.
Cesar Azpilicueta 2021/22 Chelsea stats
Appearances: 47Starts: 41Substituted: 14Unused sub: 8Minutes played: 3,634Goals: 3Assists: 3
Cesar Azpilicueta Premier League appearances 2021/22
Cesar Azpilicueta played 27 games in the Premier League for Chelsea this season, coming off the bench in three of them.
Cesar Azpilicueta Champions League appearances 2021/22
Cesar Azpilicueta played nine games in the Champions League this season, eight of which were starts.
Cesar Azpilicueta FA Cup appearances 2021/22
Cesar Azpilicueta played three games in the FA Cup this season, with three starts to his name.
Cesar Azpilicueta Carabao Cup appearances 2021/22
Cesar Azpilicueta made four appearances in the Carabao Cup, all of them starts, and was subbed off in two of those fixtures due to injury.
Cesar Azpilicueta Super Cup and Club World Cup appearances 2021/22
Cesar Azpilicueta played two games in the Club World Cup and was subbed on in the Super Cup. Chelsea won both competitions.
Cesar Azpilicueta goals 2021/22
Cesar Azpilicueta scored three goals in 2021/22, one each in the Premier League, the Champions League and the FA Cup.