Garth Crooks hails Cesar Azpilicueta who thrives under pressure at Chelsea FC
BBC Sport pundit Garth Crooks hails Cesar Azpilicueta's performances as Chelsea FC captain
Cesar Azpilicueta continues to thrive under the pressure of leading Chelsea FC, according to BBC Sport pundit Garth Crooks.
The Spain international was handed the captain’s armband as he started the London derby at Arsenal alongside Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger on Sunday evening.
Goals from Romelu Lukaku and Reece James secured a straightforward victory for Chelsea FC as they continued their 100 per cent start to the 2021-22 Premier League season.
Azpilicueta has helped Chelsea FC to keep successive clean sheets in their opening two Premier League fixtures of Thomas Tuchel’s first full season in charge.
BBC Sport pundit Crooks reckons Azpilicueta will have a big role to play as Chelsea FC look to win their first Premier League title since 2017.
“Chelsea are not Champions League winners by accident,” Crooks told BBC Sport.
“Their performance against Arsenal was a gentle reminder to all concerned they have no intention of surrendering that trophy and have one eye firmly fixed on the Premier League as well.
“In order to do that you need a leader and captain who is capable of keeping the players focused on the prize and Azpilicueta is that man. The Spaniard was outstanding against the Gunners – as he was for the best part of last season.
“The greater the responsibility he has, the better he seems to play. Chelsea have arguably the best squad in the league and their mindset is very clear. They now want to be the best team.”
Azpilicueta scored one goal and made two assists in 26 games in the Premier League last season.
The Spain international has been a mainstay of the Chelsea FC defence since his move to Stamford Bridge from Marseille in 2013.
Azpilicueta has won two Premier League titles, the FA Cup, the League Cup, the Champions League and the Europa League twice.
Chelsea FC will make the trip to Liverpool FC in their next Premier League game at Anfield on Saturday evening.
The Blues are looking to improve upon their fourth-placed finish last term.