Cesar Azpilicueta: Chelsea to turn focus to domestic competitions after Champions League frustration


Cesar Azpilicueta is aiming to put the disappointment of Chelsea’s failure to top their Champions League group behind him and focus on the Blues’ domestic commitments.

Chelsea blew the opportunity to finish top of their group with a 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid on Tuesday night at Stamford Bridge, with the draw allowing Roma to leapfrog them to finish as Group C winners.

That means Antonio Conte’s side face being drawn against some of the big clubs in the tournament, with the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona potential Round of 16 opponents.

However, with the competition now taking a break until February, domestic matters are at the forefront of Azpilicueta’s mind, with Chelsea currently 11 points behind Manchester City and three behind Manchester United in third place in the Premier League, while they also face Bournemouth in the EFL Cup quarter-finals this month before they enter the FA Cup in January.

“Yeah, it’s quite sad,” Azpilicueta said. “We could face big teams as well so now it’s time to focus on the Premier League, on the Carabao Cup and FA Cup that we will start in January and when the Champions League is back in February, we will see how we are.

“Well if you see the teams that you could face even being first, was difficult but it’s true that being first you play the second leg at home. It’s a bit of a difference but, honestly, when you go into the last 16 of the Champions League, you have to face big, big teams and we have to show our level.

“I think after the performance from tonight, I think we deserve to win it, but we were not able to do it and now we have to be focused on the draw and who we play.”

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