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Azpilicueta demands Chelsea improve to avoid a repeat of last season’s collapse


C

esar Azpilicueta warned his faltering Chelsea teammates not to repeat the mistakes of last season after their recent slump continued against Zenit on Wednesday night.

A 3-3 draw cost Thomas Tuchel’s side top spot in their Champions League group – meaning they qualified for the knockout stages as runner-up to Juventus.

A run that has seen Chelsea win just three of their last seven in all competitions may bring back worrying memories of last season’s collapse around Christmas and New Year that ultimately cost Frank Lampard his job.

Azpilicueta admits standards have been allowed to dip and demands to see a reaction against Leeds on Saturday.

“It is true that in Chelsea, you don’t need a big number of defeats in a row to call it a bad period or a crisis,” he said. “It is part of this club’s ambition to go into every competition and compete at the top.

“Last season, in December, we were top of the group and [near the] top of the Premier League, and we had a very bad run of results.

“Every year is different. We have different people, different players and it is just that we need everybody to get that extra percent as individuals and as a team. At the moment we are making a lot of mistakes. We need to recover that high intensity, the solidity from the whole team to not concede chances.

“We have conceded too many and I think that the key for our success was to defend well, to not concede chances, to be ruthless in front of goal. We need to recover this.

“In football we are on the plane straight away and play again on Saturday. We have the chance to have a good game, a good performance from the first minute to the last, and hopefully we can get a result and from there build and not drop anymore points.”

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