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Cesar Azpilicueta: Chelsea Must Focus on 'Recovering the Respect at Home'

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistDecember 28, 2019

Chelsea's Spanish defender Cesar Azpilicueta takes a throw-in during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Southampton at Stamford Bridge in London on December 26, 2019. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /  (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)
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Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta has said the team must rediscover their fear factor on home soil following a disappointing run of results.

The Blues were beaten 2-0 by Southampton in their previous outing at Stamford Bridge. The loss was their fifth in seven Premier League games and their third in four without scoring a goal on home soil, with West Ham United and Bournemouth also earning wins in west London recently.

Finding a formula to win in front of their own supporters will be crucial for manager Frank Lampard if the team is to preserve their spot in the top four this season. Azpilicueta said playing at the Bridge is something the team should relish and opponents should fear, per David Hytner of the Guardian:

"It's true that when teams see we have not won games, they come here with more confidence because they see they can do it. So forget tactics. Everything is about recovering the respect at home, being solid at home, because it is not normal to lose so many games in your stadium.

"I don't think the pressure of playing at home should be negative. It should be the opposite. We have the players, we have the quality and we have to turn it around straight away. The lesson has been very harsh—losing three [recent] games and scoring zero goals."

Here are the highlights from Chelsea's shock Boxing Day loss, with goals from Michael Obafemi and Nathan Redmond the difference between the sides:

As Sky Sports Statto relayed, it's been a long time since the Blues suffered consecutive losses at Stamford Bridge:

Alex Goldberg @AlexGoldberg_

Frank Lampard had what many called a “tactical masterclass” on Sunday, in a huge game vs José. Today, he should have switched things up. He made a mistake. But it doesn’t take away from Sunday. If you’re saying he needs to go, you need to get off Twitter & go outside.

Having beaten Tottenham Hotspur in their previous Premier League outing, Chelsea appeared primed to kick on over the festive period. However, some familiar issues reared their head for Lampard and his players, as they struggled to cut through an organised opponent.

Attacking stars like Willian, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Tammy Abraham failed to put their stamp on the game, while at the back Chelsea didn't show the defensive resoluteness required to keep out an in-form Southampton team.

Even though they're in a rut on home soil, broadcaster Alex Goldberg stressed the need for patience at Chelsea:

Alex Goldberg @AlexGoldberg_

Frank Lampard had what many called a “tactical masterclass” on Sunday, in a huge game vs José. Today, he should have switched things up. He made a mistake. But it doesn’t take away from Sunday. If you’re saying he needs to go, you need to get off Twitter & go outside.

Per Nizaar Kinsella of Goal, when the Blues have gone behind this season, they have struggled to find a way back:

Nizaar Kinsella @NizaarKinsella

Chelsea aren't threatening enough in possession. Kovacic's ability to dribble through the middle is one thing missed, particularly in this formation. Chelsea have not got a single point from a losing position all season in the Premier League. #CFC #CHESOU

Given their recent troubles at home, Chelsea will be pleased their next match is away from the Bridge. They visit a struggling Arsenal team at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

In a campaign wherein Lampard has sought to integrate a number of young players, it's not a shock to see the team stumble on occasion. If Chelsea are to preserve their place in the top four, then they need to get back on track in front of their own fans.

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