Azpilicueta issues Chelsea rallying cry for improvement after points dropped again

    Chelsea must stick together to keep their hopes of finishing in the top four this season, with Cesar Azpilicueta urging his teammates to stop losing points.

    The Blues slipped to a draw against Nottingham Forest on Sunday when Serge Aurier canceled Raheem Sterling’s first kick in the 1-1 draw.

    That leaves the Graham Potter team with just one win in their last five Premier League games and seven points behind fourth-placed Manchester United.

    With just 25 points this season, Chelsea are eluding Champions League qualifiers, but Azpilicueta has called for a change.

    “Every point counts and we lost two points today, that’s clear,” he told Sky Sports. “From the start of the season, we [have] lost too many points.

    “Now we are far from where we want to be and every game you don’t win is an opportunity you miss. This is reality, when you see the table, that’s where we are.

    “We need to have a very good second half of the season if we want to qualify for the Champions League next season. We must stick together.

    “We know it’s not the best time, but in these difficult times, we need everyone to stick together, work hard, get better and be humble.”

    Sterling’s early goal should have given Chelsea a firm grip on the City Ground, but hosts Steve Cooper, who were under fire, bounced back in the second half.

    With the Blues hitting nine to one after the break, Forest equalized and Azpilicueta admits his team missed the game.

    “They put more pressure [on us] and we couldn’t escape,” he added. “They created a few chances and we lost two points.

    “We could not find a suitable place to calm their reaction. We were not able to deal with such situations.”

    Chelsea will next bounce back for back-to-back clashes with Manchester City, where they will face Josep Guardiola’s side in the Premier League and FA Cup next week.

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