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Azpilicueta looking for strength in response from Chelsea after Spurs disaster

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“We have to do better”

Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea FC - Premier League Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Seasons can often be defined by monumental victories, comeback, goals, trophies. They can also be defined by monumental losses. Yesterday’s shambolic 3-1 reverse at Wembley against Spurs, the second consecutive win for Spurs against Chelsea by that scoreline in less than eight months, feels like one of these monumental moments.

Just how monumental it turns out to be will depend to a large part on Chelsea’s response to it. Will Sarri introduce a tactical tweak or two? Will the players find consistency and a stronger mentality? Will the fans and the owner show the required patience?

For Azpilicueta, it starts with the players.

“It’s a tough one to take. We have to do better and it hurts to lose in this way. We have to learn from our mistakes, to improve and come back as a team. We need to be strong and get back to winning ways.”

Saturday went all wrong from the first minute to the last, and Chelsea were never able to truly gain a foothold in the match. This sort of negative snowballing effect was an unwelcome feature of the squad last season under Conte as well, so the sooner we nip this habit in the bud this season, the better.

“The start was really bad. After 15 minutes being 2-0 down is tough to come back from.

”It’s true in the last couple of games we didn’t start the game in the way we have to start. In some ways we didn’t pay for it, but we paid for it straightaway against Tottenham. When you have this handicap it’s tough. Tottenham are an aggressive team, they press well, and we were not able to get out with the ball and play our football.

“We knew if we could get a goal we would be in the game, but it went in the other way. At 3-0 we tried to fight until the end but we were not able to get anything from the game.”

-César Azpilicueta; source: Chelsea FC

Giroud’s goal was far too little far too late; and Chelsea thus begin the long, busy, and uninterrupted winter stretch of fixtures with a resounding defeat. Improvement required.