Mata praise for Azpilicueta as pair grab Chelsea goals

Juan Mata reserved special praise for his Chelsea teammate Cesar Azpilicueta after the pair were on target for Jose Mourinho’s side in their 2-0 Capital One Cup victory over Arsenal, Sky Sports has reported.

Azpilicueta opened the scoring when he exploited a short header towards his own goal from Carl Jenkinson, the Gunners’ right-back, and beat on-rushing goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski to the ball. It was Azpilicueta’s first goal for Chelsea, having been at the club a little over a year and came after the full-back fell out of favour under Mourinho.

Mata said: “I’m more happy for Cesar, to be honest. He trains more than anyone and he fully deserves the goal and the celebration more than anything,” although the playmaker also praised Arsenal for their performance and his teammates as a group for their response.

Mourinho made 10 changes for the fixture from the side that beat Manchester City on Sunday, with the match at the Emirates Stadium coming only 48 hours after the win over Manuel Pellegrini’s side. Mata was one of the players introduced, having struggled to hold down a place under Mourinho this season, but was reluctant to speak out his case individually.

I just try to play, and enjoy my football,” Mata said. “The manager is the one who makes the decisions, but I always try my best for this club and that’s what I’ll always do. Today I enjoyed it, and I felt proud for the fans, but I’m really happy for Cesar.

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