DEFIANT Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta has insisted youngsters Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham “deserve to be here” after starting in the 4-0 mauling at Manchester United.
The Blues were thumped in their first competitive game under Frank Lampard on Sunday, with Mount and Abraham preferred to veterans N’Golo Kante and Olivier Giroud.
It was supposed to be the dawning of a new youth-inspired era, but instead Chelsea were battered at Old Trafford.
Speaking after the defeat, Azpilicueta said: “We trust in them and they’re here because they deserve to be here.
“They’re fighting in every training session and now we have a massive opportunity to create a fantastic group.
“Everyone would like to start the season in a better way but we have to learn from every game and come back stronger.”
TOUGH TO TAKE
On the result itself, Azpi confessed: “We’re obviously very disappointed with the result because we controlled the game, especially in the first-half.
“[We] created a lot of chances but we couldn’t score.
“It’s a tough scoreline to take but we weren’t clinical in the boxes and after we conceded two goals in two minutes, things were more difficult for us.
“From that point, we were more open and gave them more spaces, they got more confidence and at the end we got a tough result.
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“We deserved more but it is what it is and we have to move on.”
Kante is expected to start Chelsea’s next match – against Liverpool in Wednesday’s Super Cup clash – as he continues to recover from injury.
But Abraham could continue to lead the line after an impressive pre-season campaign under Lampard.