Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta has urged his teammates to overcome the disappointment of their Champions League exit and to return their focus to both the Premier League and the FA Cup
Despite a good performance against Barcelona in the second leg of their Round of 16 tie, Chelsea were ultimately punished for individual errors which led to Lionel Messi capitalising on them.
The Argentine opened the scoring after just 128 seconds, before setting up Ousmane Dembele for the second after Cesc Fabregas lost the possession. Messi then took advantage of a mistake from Azpilicueta to seal a convincing 3-0 win at the Nou Camp.
“I thought we had a lot of chances but a couple of mistakes we made, they punished us,” said Azpilicueta, according to the club website.
“We knew we had to score to get at least extra-time. We had enough chances to make it happen, but they punished our mistakes with three goals.
“We knew Messi is a very good player and he can make the difference at any point. We knew it but we couldn’t stop it.”
But the Spaniard has now urged his side to return their focus to both their battle for the top four in the league standings and the FA Cup.
“The team fought really hard. We will analyse and focus,” said the 28 year-old.
“The next game is the FA Cup, we will try to get through to the semi-finals and get back into the top four in the Premier League.”
Chelsea will next face Leicester City in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup as Antonio Conte’s side look to win the competition for the first time since 2012.