Chelsea captain César Azpilicueta was one of several signings made by the club in the summer following our greatest triumph, winning the 2012 Champions League. We’ve been trying to get back to that pinnacle ever since: nine years and 419 appearances later, tenth all-time, Azpilicueta is now just two games away from doing so. After last night’s 0-1 defeat (but 2-1 win on aggregate) over FC Porto, Chelsea are almost within touching distance of another Champions League final, which would be the third in our history (2008, 2012).
It wasn’t a pretty match last night, but it was a real throwback to the days of pragmatic Chelsea, which in many ways gives us confidence of actually reaching said final regardless of whether we face Real Madrid or Liverpool in the semifinals. Azpilicueta agrees.
“The team showed that spirit and when you want to get through it doesn’t matter how. Of course, we are very honest and we know that we can play better, but sometimes it’s the game to dig in, to fight together, and the team showed that spirit in the two games.
“The team showed a great spirit, we fought really hard, the attacking players ran a lot. The team defended brilliantly, everybody. The attacking players, they did an amazing job, when we recovered the ball they kept the ball. [...] I think the team worked very well and I’m very happy with the fighting spirit from everybody.”
“When you are into the best four teams in Europe everything’s going to be difficult and they are obviously two games where we are going to give everything because we know we have a chance.”
-César Azpilicueta; source: Chelsea FC
So you’re telling me there is a chance? Well, so say we all!