Cesar Azpilicueta calls on Chelsea to improve home form as top-four bid falters

Cesar Azpilicueta

Cesar Azpilicueta believes Chelsea must improve their home form to secure a top-four finish this season.

After Manchester United's victory over Burnley on Saturday, Chelsea's lead in the race for the final Champions League qualification spot has been cut to just a single point.

The Blues travel across London to face Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon having won six of their previous nine away games this term.

Frank Lampard's side have struggled at Stamford Bridge, though, losing at home to West Ham, Bournemouth and Southampton in recent weeks.

Their record in front of their own fans is only the 13th best in the division, and Azpilicueta has acknowledged his side's struggles in west London since the start of the campaign.

“It is true that when teams see we have not won games, they come here with more confidence because they see they can do it,” he said.

“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 do not 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.

“It is difficult to understand why this is happening. Normally at home you find teams a bit more defensive, we can enjoy more time on the ball and you can create more chances.

“It is up to us. When you play at home it is not about the rival, it is about yourself – about moving the ball quick to find the spaces, to create chances and give the fans and ourselves a lift.”

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