Henry Winter highlights Azpilicueta’s importance and why you can’t write off Chelsea

Chelsea fans will never forget the sight of Azpilicueta consoling Thiago Silva as he hobbled from the field in the first half, helping the crestfallen centre-back as he fought back tears of pain and frustration over a groin injury. Thiago’s own response was also a window into Chelsea’s spirit. Rather than feel sorry for himself, the Brazilian spent the rest of the game shouting encouragement from the sidelines. That unity again. Back on the field, Azpilicueta was continuing to galvanise the team, and the desire of all in blue highlighted their togetherness.

Scrolling through the images of events after the final whistle revealed that collectively even more. Sergio Aguero stands there, stunned, hands on hips, heartbroken, as Kurt Zouma strides past, holding Kante aloft. On the touchline, Tuchel is mobbed by his backroom team, all letting out screams of joy. All that hard work, preparing to counter Manchester City, preparing their own team to defend with discipline and determination, was rewarded. All the team ethic they have instilled carried Chelsea through those testing last minutes, and that seemingly eternal, infernal stoppage time.

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