Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea ever-present outlines how head coach has transformed Blues defence
Azpilicueta has played 90 minutes in nine of Tuchel’s ten games in charge, only rested for the FA Cup victory against Barnsley last month
Cesar Azpilicueta has been a Premier League ever-present for Chelsea since Thomas Tuchel arrived at the club and the results have been superb.
One of them was an own goal via Antonio Rudiger at Sheffield United and the other came on the south coast in a 1-1 draw with Southampton.
The Spanish veteran had struggled as a right back under Frank Lampard and Reece Jems had overtake him in the pecking order. But Tuchel wanted experience in his backline when he replaced the axed Lampard in late January.
Shifting the 31-year-old inside to a right centre back position has paid off handsomely for Tuchel and for the Spaniard, who is enjoying a real surge in form as he can do exactly what he likes to do – defend.
Playing on the right of three central defenders, Azpilicueta has been part of a defence that has conceded just two goals in nine Premier League games. Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen have done their part as well as the backline restricted Liverpool to just one shot on target during Chelsea’s 1-0 win at Anfield on Thursday.
Azpilicueta has shown no signs of needing a break since Tuchel arrived, having played 90 minutes in every game apart from when he was rested for the FA Cup fifth round victory at Barnsley.
He even netted the first goal of the Tuchel era in west London when he slammed home into the top corner to finish off a flowing move in the 2-0 victory over Burnley.
Reflecting on the Liverpool game and how the defenders are shaping up ahead of the visit of Everton to Stamford Bridge on Monday night, Azpiliceuta said: “We defended all together and the strikers did an amazing job with that, which is what you need if you want to get three points at Anfield.
“When you concede goals, it normally goes to the defenders and when you don’t concede it goes to the defenders as well but we work as a team with our structure.
“Obviously it is the job of the defenders to defend but we have to highlight the work from everybody and the attacking players did an amazing job.
“Liverpool ran a lot and had a lot of intensity so if you don’t match them then it’s difficult to win but we did really well.”
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