‘We have to look at ourselves – we have lowered our level’: Cesar Azpilicueta refuses to blame referee after Chelsea’s FA Cup final loss to rival Arsenal at Wembley
- Cesar Azpilicueta refused to blame the referee for Chelsea’s final FA Cup loss
- Blues captain gave penalty while Mateo Kovacic was sent off harshly
- He admitted his team lowered their level as they were beaten by Arsenal
- The Spaniard was forced to leave with a hamstring injury just before half-time
Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta refused to blame referee Anthony Taylor for his side’s FA Cup final loss to Arsenal.
The official gave Mateo Kovacic a second yellow card in the 73rd minute and left the Blues with a difficult task of reversing a 2-1 deficit just over 15 minutes from time.
Christian Pulisic gave Frank Lampard’s side an early lead but Azpilicueta conceded a penalty after pushing back Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The forward converted the kick before scoring the winner midway through the second half.
Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta refused to blame the referee for his FA Cup final loss
Anthony Taylor awarded the Gunners a penalty before sending Mateo Kovacic off harshly
The Blues skipper was forced to watch most of the game from the sideline after sustaining a hamstring injury just before half-time.
As the big calls went against his side, Azpilicueta insisted that he and his teammates were only to blame.
“A lot of times there have been 50-50s (which went to Arsenal) and we had the same in 2017 – but we have to look beyond that,” Azpilicueta told chelseafc.com.
The Spaniard said his side need to watch each other after falling from their usual level
“We have to look at ourselves. We know that two weeks ago, when we played against Man United (in the semi-final), we really controlled him.
“It’s painful and hard to bear. Obviously, when you lose a final, it’s always painful.
“We started the game well and scored an early goal which normally gives a confidence to build on, but we didn’t capitalize on it.
“We lowered our level a bit and we were punished.