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César Azpilicueta glad to be playing Premier League football again, warns against disrespecting Arsenal

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Do not drop your guard

Chelsea v West Ham United - Premier League - Stamford Bridge Photo by John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images

Reece James’ injury-enforced absence has brought Azpilicueta back to Premier League football aftera lmost two months without playing a single match in the competition. Good thing that he was ready to step up and help the team in the best way he could by providing good support upfront, and winning his defensive battles against West Ham’s Pablo Fornals and Aaron Cresswell in our 3-0 win over the Hammers.

“It was good to be back. I’ve been playing more in the Champions League but it’s true that in the Premier League, I haven’t been involved since Old Trafford.

“It has been a while but my job is to work hard to improve every day and, whenever the manager needs me to step up, do the best job I can. To win was important and we did well.”

Despite the scoreline being largely in favour of Chelsea, the match surely did not feel as secure as what the result might transpire. But whenever West Ham felt themselves to be in a threatening mood, Azpi and the rest of our defensive line were there to keep them in check.

“The way they play, they put you under pressure. At only 1-0, the game was open and we had to suffer.

“When you come from two defeats, you have to recover that spirit of winning and we did that. We know we can improve our game but from the mental point of view, and how we defended all together the crossing of balls and the set-play settings, we did well altogether because they are one of the best teams in England on that.”

The captain is expected to start again this Boxing Day in our trip to the Emirates to face Arsenal for the league. And while they are not in the best form these days, Azpilicueta knows we cannot let our guards down against a major rival — as we did back in August when we lost the FA Cup final to the Gunners.

“We were obviously disappointed with that result but now we’re four months later, it’s a different competition and a new game. They are not in their best form but we know their qualities and that they have dangerous players so we have to cope with that.

“We respect them and we know it’s going to be tough but we need points so hopefully we can go there and play our game. We have the confidence and belief to do that and obviously we will try to get the points.”

-César Azpilicueta; Source: Chelsea FC