Chelsea: Azpilicueta details improvements under Tuchel
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Chelsea star Cesar Azpilicueta has admitted the Blues squad is disappointed after their 1-0 FA Cup final defeat to Leicester on Saturday. The Blues went into the match at Wembley as favourites to lift the trophy. But that didn’t happen, with Youri Tielemans’ stunning strike winning the game for the Foxes instead.
Chelsea had more of the ball and created more chances against Leicester on Saturday.
But it wasn’t enough for the Blues, with Tielemans scoring the only goal of the game to secure the silverware for the Foxes.
The Belgium international beat Kepa Arrizabalaga with a powerful effort from distance that sailed into the top corner, sparking huge celebrations in the process.
And Azpilicueta, speaking to club media after the game, theorised Chelsea’s lack of cutting edge cost them the game – while revealing players were crushed.
“It’s really hard,” he said.
“We had ambitions to win it and unfortunately we couldn’t do it.
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“Of course we are disappointed, it was not our best game. We didn’t give them many opportunities but, obviously, they took one.
“We were not clinical enough. We had our chances. In the first half-an-hour we were better, we had a few situations where we could have scored and the game could change, but we didn’t.
“The game didn’t have many chances. We had a few situations in the first half where we could have scored. We didn’t take them, we didn’t make the right decision, and when it is 0-0 and the game goes on it is normal the first goal can win it.
“Unfortunately, this time we were on the other side of that.”
Azpilicueta also thinks Chelsea weren’t at their best on the day – but has challenged the squad to pick themselves up with three matches left to play.
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“We were not at the level of the performances that we have shown in the last few weeks and it’s up to us to raise our levels and to come back because we have three games in front of us,” he said.
“Of course we are very disappointed but we don’t have a lot of time. We have to recover and go again on Tuesday.
“We have lost the last two games, two important games.
“We have missed two opportunities and we cannot let more opportunities go. We cannot change the results, but we have to be humble, to accept that we can be better, pick ourselves up and go again, because we have three crucial games for the club, for us, for the fans and we are determined to win them.
“It’s hard to take but in less than three days we are back and playing again, so we have to recover and go for it.
“Tuesday is a massive game for our Champions League qualification. We are in a position where everything is in our hands and now is the moment, the last week of the Premier League.
“We want to be in the top four and qualify for the Champions League and we have to show it on the pitch.”
Thomas Tuchel, meanwhile, feels Chelsea were unlucky to lose – and slammed VAR for failing to rule out Tielemans’ goal for a handball in the build-up.
“The players said straight away it was a handball,” said Tuchel.
“So now for the second game in a row there was a handball against us, and VAR is not interfering.
“Against Arsenal, there was one on the line, and again today, and they are very decisive.
“I’m not an expert in handball anymore, I don’t know when it’s handball or not.
“I don’t know anymore when they need to punish it or it’s OK to play with the hand.
“We were unlucky today. But there’s never any guarantee you’ll end up with a trophy.
“I think we would have deserved to win but we have to accept defeat.”
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