herald

Thursday 27 June 2019

Cesar: We'll KO Kop hopes again

AIM: Cesar Azpilicueta. Pic; Reuters/Paul Childs
AIM: Cesar Azpilicueta. Pic; Reuters/Paul Childs

Cesar Azpilicueta has backed Chelsea to wreck Liverpool's Premier League title dream for the second time in five years tomorrow.

The Blues' 2-0 win at Anfield in April 2014 derailed Liverpool's title tilt, paving the way for Manchester City to snatch the league crown.

Skipper Steven Gerrard's infamous slip gifted Demba Ba the opener as they ended Liverpool's 16-match unbeaten streak in a defeat that floored Brendan Rodgers' side.

Liverpool are once more close to that elusive first title since 1990, but again City will push the Reds to the death - and Spain defender Azpilicueta believes the Blues can also dash Anfield hopes.

"We went there and they had the party ready because they were smashing every team at Anfield," he said.

"We had a very clear idea and produced the game to beat that team getting very good results.

"To beat them 2-0 was a very important win for club and fans. Hopefully, we can replicate it on Sunday.

"It's not about frustrating Liverpool. We know they are fighting for the title but for us every point is very important for the top four."

Chelsea scraped past Slavia Prague 1-0 in Thursday night's Europa League quarter- final first leg at the Sinobo Stadium, with Marcos Alonso nodding home Willian's cross in the closing stages.

Spain goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga pulled off a string of fine saves, setting up Chelsea to complete the job at Stamford Bridge next week and reach the semi-finals.

Azpilicueta hailed Chelsea's £71million record signing for quickly shaking off the League Cup final storm of refusing to be substituted.

Kepa (24) defied furious manager Maurizio Sarri's orders and stayed on, only for Chelsea to lose the penalty shootout 4-3 to Manchester City.

But Azpilicueta now believes Kepa has banished any lingering doubts about his Blues career.

He said: "He had one job to do and he did it very well.

"That's three clean sheets in a row and it's very important for us to be solid.

''We know that when we are in the Europa League quarter-finals every game is going to be difficult."

Promoted articles

Entertainment News