Cesar Azpilicueta produced yet another outstanding display at left-back as the Blues secured our place in the Champions League semi-finals, and the Spanish defender paid tribute to the whole squad for the desire we showed to overcome Paris Saint-Germain.
Demba Ba’s 87th-minute strike saw the Blues progress to the last four for the second time in three years courtesy of the away goals rule, with Stamford Bridge playing host to another European night which will live long in the memory.
The foundations for the result were laid from the back, with the Blues becoming the first team to stop the French side scoring this season, keeping a ninth consecutive clean sheet at home, and Azpilicueta struggled to take in what had happened.
‘It was just unbelievable,’ he told the official Chelsea website. ‘I don’t have the words to describe the night. How we finished the game was amazing.
‘We felt out on the pitch we were playing well, it was a very good game with a high intensity from the start and we had to fight until the end. We all had the belief we could do it and obviously Demba scored the important goal.’
Andre Schurrle, an early replacement for the injured Eden Hazard, had set us on our way with a neat finish in the 32nd minute before Ba, another substitute, secured our progression late in the game.
With Fernando Torres also coming off the bench and giving everything for the cause, Azpilicueta praised the impact made by all three players.
‘Obviously Demba’s not been playing too much but he came in and scored such an important goal,’ said the Spaniard.
‘It’s great for everyone and shows the quality we have throughout the whole squad, we are all so happy for him.
‘It was unlucky that we lost Eden to injury in the first half but Andre came on and did fantastically; he scored the first goal and looked dangerous every time he got the ball.
‘At the end of the season it’s the squad which wins you trophies, you can’t play every game with the same players and when you have people who can come in and give everything for the team it helps.
‘Fernando also came on for the last 10 to 15 minutes and did very well. He knew the team were very tired and he didn’t stop running, he fought for the ball all over the pitch so we are happy for everybody.’
Having never previously reached the semi-finals of the competition, Azpilicueta is understandably looking forward to trying to help Jose Mourinho’s side reach the Lisbon final.
‘For me it’s a step up because with Marseille I reached the last 16 and then the quarter-finals, now it’s a semi-final with Chelsea,’ he said.
‘It’s another opportunity for me to learn and improve but obviously we want to try to win the competition.’