PREMIER LEAGUE

Azpilicueta backs under-fire Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa

Chelea's under-fire goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga was backed by the team's captain and compatriot, César Azpilicueta on Tuesday.

Azpilicueta backs under-fire Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa

Chelsea captain César Azpilicueta insisted he had no doubt that Kepa Arrizabalaga would bounce back. After several mistakes by the Spanish keeper, Chelsea signed Edouard Mendy from Rennes in September, but the Senegal international suffered a thigh injury earlier this month. Kepa returned to the starting XI against Southampton on Saturday, but made another error as Chelsea drew 3-3.

Kepa will respond

Ahead of Tuesday's Champions League clash with Sevilla, Azpilicueta backed his compatriot to respond out on the field of play. "In football we have difficult times. In my position as a captain, obviously Kepa, I know him from a long time ago, I always try to help him," the defender told a news conference. And it's true that it's difficult and sometimes you feel like everything goes against you. You have to have the character and personality to face it and to work hard. I have no doubt Kepa will work hard and give everything to reverse the situation. The whole squad are fighting for targets as a collective and we need everybody. When you are a goalkeeper it’s a completely different situation. But I don't have any doubt he will keep working hard and giving his best."

United away

Chelsea are eighth in the Premier League after earning eight points from their opening five games. Their next league game is an away trip to Manchester United on Saturday.