‘I think there were plenty of things to be proud of,’ said Azpilicueta. ‘We’re really pleased with how we performed against a team who are the Europa League champions and have some great strengths.
‘We managed to dominate the game, which isn’t easy against a team of their calibre and with their top-level experience. Even though we were under pressure from time to time, we always kept that control, and that helped us win the match.’
A veteran of seven Champions League campaigns with Chelsea, having joined a few months after we won the trophy, Azpilicueta saved his highest praise for Giroud, but said his long-time colleague’s perfect display highlighted the hard work that has been put in by players up and down the teamsheet.
‘We have some who maybe aren’t getting the minutes that they had in previous seasons, myself included,’ he said. ‘But I think our effort day-to-day has been fantastic from everyone.
‘As a squad, we’re all working very hard. We’ve seen that reflected in Olivier Giroud scoring four goals in a Champions League game. That doesn’t happen every day – but it doesn’t happen by itself either. A lot of work that went into that.’