Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta admits they need to address their scoring problems or face another season of frustration.
The return of Romelu Lukaku on loan to Inter Milan after a disappointing season at the top and Timo Werner’s inconsistent form meant new signing Raheem Sterling started as a centre-forward in the 1-0 win at Everton.
It’s not a long-term solution for coach Thomas Tuchel and they owed the win to Jorginho’s late first-half penalty.
“You know, every team wants to score a lot of goals and not concede a goal. It’s true that we may have been a bit far at the top in recent years,” said Azpilicueta.
“You know it’s been five seasons since we last won the Premier League. We have to score goals if we want to win something.
“We have to score goals and we can’t concede anything.
“Lately, in the last couple of Premier League games, we haven’t scored enough and conceded with half a chance.
“So that’s our problem and that’s why we finished third, 20 points or more behind Manchester City.”
Defender Ben Chilwell admits the team is still a work in progress but it was all they needed to open with a win from the first game of the new season.
Her first win in five visits to Goodison Park was far from a flowing, confident performance, but after a summer of changes on and off the field – new ownership, significant moves in and out of the squad and a disjointed preseason – Chilwell accepts, that it will take time for things to gel.
“We have a lot to work on and improve on but the most important thing was the three points and we got them so we’re happy,” he told chelseafc.com.
“We are a team in transition and we are still trying to work together. We’ve got new players brought in and a new owner, so we’re still working hard and basically taking each game as it comes.”
Chilwell’s start at Goodison Park was his first significant appearance – apart from a brief appearance on the final day – since late November following a serious knee injury, and he won the penalty that resulted in the winning goal.
He played just over an hour before being substituted, while new signing Marc Cucurella came off the bench for the final 15 minutes to remind Chilwell he will have competition for his place.
“We’re at Chelsea so there will be a lot of good players,” he added.
“The fight for places will be tough and of course we will push each other just like everyone else in the team.
“I feel good and ready. Of course it’s my first game in the Premier League for a long time so I’m very happy to be back, it’s the best feeling in the world.
“I was out a long time so it was a really nice feeling to come back to the Premier League and win a penalty for the team to win.
“I’ve been working hard towards this moment for a long time, to play in the Premier League again and it just felt great to be back on the pitch with the lads.
“I’ve had all of pre-season plus a few extra weeks coming in early but it’s totally different from here.
“We (Chilwell and manager Thomas Tuchel) had a conversation where he asked if I felt ready and I said ‘of course’.
“I don’t know if it’s me, but I feel that way. I’ve worked hard over the summer so I’m mentally and physically ready to help the team.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/cesar-azpilicueta-thomas-tuchel-raheem-sterling-ben-chilwell-everton-b2140312.html Cesar Azpilicueta: Chelsea have to score goals if we want to win something