That's not us - Azpilicueta lauds Chelsea's mettle after Lille win

By Sports Desk March 16, 2022

Cesar Azpilicueta praised Chelsea's resilience after their win over Lille on Wednesday sent them into the Champions League quarter-finals. 

The Blues triumphed 2-1 in the second leg of the last-16 tie at Stade Pierre-Mauroy, going through 4-1 on aggregate. Yet it was not as easy as the scoreline suggested, with Burak Yilmaz putting Lille ahead in the first half. 

However, Christian Pulisic equalised on the stroke of half-time and Azpilicueta put the result beyond doubt when he completed the turnaround in the 71st minute. 

Chelsea are facing extraordinary circumstances following the freezing of owner Roman Abramovich's assets in the United Kingdom, but Azpilicueta showed pride in the team's ability to focus on the task at hand. 

"It has not been a normal last few weeks," Azpilicueta told BT Sport. "We are playing every three days, difficult games. We are happy to go through and win the game. 

"This group fights against everything. We know we have to do the best we can on the pitch. That is what we do. We stay together, we fight together. 

"Everything outside, the noise, it could sometimes be easier to let it go and lose the focus. But that's not us. We do everything we can that we have in our hands. From there, we have to keep playing every three days." 

The 32-year-old also scored a rare goal for Chelsea, only his 16th in 463 appearances for the club. 

"I'm not very used to scoring, so I'm happy to score and put us through the quarter-finals," he said. 

"The first half, I don't think we started very well. They were very active, we knew it was going to be difficult. We made a few mistakes, they were dangerous, but the reaction was very good." 

Chelsea will face Middlesbrough in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Saturday. 

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