Cesar Azpilicueta deserves to be taken out to dinner by Alvaro Morata due to the regularity of his assists for the Chelsea striker’s goals.
That is the verdict of Blues boss Antonio Conte, who has joked that the goalscorer should put his hand in his pocket and offer to take his club and international colleague out as a way of saying thanks for laying on his goals.
Azpilicueta has set up six of Morata’s strikes so far this term, and Conte, as quoted by ?ESPN, insisted that the defender – and himself – should be taken to a fancy restaurant by the ex-Real Madrid star as a result.
The Italian said: “Yeah, but he has to score also! As you know very well, Azpi is a defender with good feet.
“There is this great link between him and Alvaro. This wasn’t the first time [they combined for a goal]. I hope it continues in this way because we need his assists and Morata to score.
“Morata has to pay not one dinner but more dinners to Azpi. And, if they invite me, I want to go.”
Morata notched the opening goal in the 2-0 Boxing Day win over Brighton, with the pair’s fellow Spaniard Marcos Alonso also netting at Stamford Bridge.
The triumph saw Conte’s side move within just one point of second-placed Manchester United, although they remain well off the pace in the unlikely race to catch runaway leaders Manchester City.
Conte, however, chose to remain optimistic as he looks for his players to make a good fist of trying to defend their league crown.
He added: “I think in this league there is a great motivation for all. [We want] to try to stay there and to fight until the end. I don’t know if it will win the title because it depends upon Manchester City. They are doing something extraordinary to win every game and draw only once up to now.
“That means you’re having a fantastic run. Otherwise, Chelsea, United, Tottenham, Arsenal and Liverpool would be staying there to fight.
“We fight for a place in the Champions League next season. There are four places for six top teams. Last season, United and Arsenal finished fifth and sixth.
“There is this great motivation for me, for the players, and we want to try and improve. Our start wasn’t easy this season, for many reasons. But we want to work and improve. There are many competitions. It’s important to face every competition and be very proud to play every game.”