Azpilicueta: Chelsea need to recover respect from opponents

Having succumbed to a 2-0 home defeat to Southampton on Boxing Day, the Chelsea captain wants to make Stamford Bridge a fortress again

Cesar Azpilicueta has said that Chelsea need to rediscover “respect” from opponents at home after their 2-0 defeat to Southampton on Boxing Day.

Despite coming off a morale-boosting away win against Tottenham last weekend, Frank Lampard’s side succumbed to their fifth defeat in seven games in the Premier League. Goals from Michael Obafemi and Nathan Redmond went unanswered, with the Blues well beaten by opponents who started the day just outside the relegation zone.

Chelsea have now lost three of their last five home matches in the Premier League, a worrying trend and a far cry from Lampard’s playing days when Stamford Bridge represented one of the toughest away days in the top flight.

Speaking after the match, Chelsea captain Azpilicueta said: “We haven’t managed to score or win in the last couple of home games, and it’s a big issue if we want to keep the consistency and stay where we want to be.

“The fans want us to perform and get results and we are not giving them that. It’s true at home we face teams who sometimes sit back more than when they play at home and we can find more space. But it’s up to us to find a way.

“In the first half we shot once on target. In the second half we got the ball in the box, we went past a defender, but we didn’t find the man in the box, or we didn’t create the chance to get a goal. We are putting ourselves in difficulty.

“It’s up to us to find always the consistency, the level to play home or away, against any team. We know every game in the Premier League is very tough.

When teams see you are losing points at home they come with more confidence. We have to recover this respect at home.”

Chelsea now face back-to-back away games, first against Arsenal and then against Brighton.

Asked about the outlook for a tough couple of fixtures, Azpilicueta said: “When you lose a game you want to bounce back as quickly as possible.

We have to find a way to do so in two days’ time. We have to react, but I have to be clear, we can’t be the whole season up down, up down.

“It’s key in the second half of the season we recover our consistency, the solidity at home, and keep growing as a team.”

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