Azpilicueta defends selection of Abraham and Mount after Mourinho criticism

Azpilicueta defends selection of Abraham and Mount after Mourinho criticism

Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta has staunchly defended homegrown pair Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount after criticism from Jose Mourinho in the wake of their 4-0 hammering at Manchester United.

Former Blues boss Mourinho, speaking in his role as a pundit for Sky Sports, questioned the wisdom of including Mount and Abraham in the starting XI as Frank Lampard’s tenure as Chelsea head coach began in ignominious fashion.

Mourinho’s reasoning centred on the duo’s lack of top-flight experience when the likes of N’Golo Kante, Olivier Giroud and Marcos Alonso were left on the bench on Sunday afternoon.

Abraham struck the post early on (Martin Rickett/PA)
Abraham struck the post early on (Martin Rickett/PA)

Azpilicueta said: “If they are here it is because they deserve to be. They are fighting in every training session. We trust in them.

“All the boys, they train to play for the Chelsea first team since they were young and now we have a massive opportunity to create a fantastic group, to learn from every game.

“Obviously, everyone would like to start in a better way but we have to face the reality and become stronger from it.”

If they are here it is because they deserve to be. They are fighting in every training session. We trust in them.

Abraham and Mount started brightly at Old Trafford, the former rattling the post, and Chelsea were perhaps unfortunate to be trailing at the break following Marcus Rashford’s penalty.

However, the visitors unravelled once Anthony Martial had doubled United’s advantage after the hour mark, with further strikes from Rashford and substitute Daniel James adding gloss to the scoreline.

Azpilicueta has called on Chelsea to quickly draw a line under what happened on the opening weekend of the Premier League season ahead of a trip to Istanbul to face domestic rivals Liverpool in Wednesday’s Super Cup final.

Azpilicueta knows Lampard’s side need to bounce back quickly (Martin Rickett/PA)
Azpilicueta knows Lampard’s side need to bounce back quickly (Martin Rickett/PA)

The Spanish defender added: “We know that Chelsea always fights for everything. When you don’t win, the questions around get more and more but we have to cope with it.

“We know that playing for Chelsea requires your best effort in every game so we have to learn from the game.

“We know that we can improve. We have to face it, take the responsibility and move forward. We have a trophy to fight for on Wednesday against a good team and we have to be ready for it.”

- Press Association

More on this topic

Lampard endures ‘harsh’ reality check as United give Chelsea the BluesLampard endures ‘harsh’ reality check as United give Chelsea the Blues

Jurgen Klopp rules Alisson out of Super Cup clash with ChelseaJurgen Klopp rules Alisson out of Super Cup clash with Chelsea

David Luiz trains separately from Chelsea team-mates amid Arsenal linksDavid Luiz trains separately from Chelsea team-mates amid Arsenal links

Dario Gradi criticised in Chelsea sex abuse reportDario Gradi criticised in Chelsea sex abuse report

More in this Section

Cork keeper Chris Kelly hit with 12-month banCork keeper Chris Kelly hit with 12-month ban

Troy Parrott among three new faces in 40-man Ireland squadTroy Parrott among three new faces in 40-man Ireland squad

Pep Guardiola: Raheem Sterling still has another level to reachPep Guardiola: Raheem Sterling still has another level to reach

Zinedine Zidane to give Gareth Bale another chance at Real MadridZinedine Zidane to give Gareth Bale another chance at Real Madrid


Lifestyle

Italy is a volatile place as you probably know, not just the passions of its people but is a place of active volcanos and frequent earthquakes. One of the most devastating earthquakes in recent years was the one that struck the Amatrice region in 2016.Wine with Leslie Williams: Some tasty Italian selections

It’s confirmed, being a dog owner is good for you. Esther McCarthy spoke to four celebrities about pride in their pooches.Animal magnetism: Celebrities and their treasured pets

We recently began watching a new sitcom called, ‘The Kids Are Alright’. It follows an American family in the early seventies as they raise eight sons.Lindsay Woods: I’m a dormant individual by nature but my children are adrenaline junkies

Rosscarbery antiques fair offers plenty of variety, writes Des O’Sullivan.See the value of rare notes and diamonds

More From The Irish Examiner