Premier League

Azpilicueta hopes Chelsea can repeat 'Battle of the Bridge' win versus Spurs

The infamous game in 2016 saw the Blues end their London rivals' hopes of winning the Premier League

2:28pm on Thursday 26th November 2020
Martin Macdonald

Cesar Azpilicueta says Chelsea are eager to prove they are still the number one team in London, and hopes they can channel their performance from the 'Battle of the Bridge' when the Blues face Tottenham on Sunday.

Back in 2016, Spurs travelled to Stamford Bridge still with hopes of winning their first ever Premier League title.

But, despite winning 2-0 at half-time, they ended up drawing 2-2 with Chelsea staging a ferocious fightback, with the draw not enough to stop Leicester winning their famous title four years ago.

It has went down as one of the most fiercely contested games in Premier League history, with Tottenham alone picking up a record nine yellow cards.

Things reached boiling point after a confrontation between Mousa Dembele and Diego Costa just before half-time, which led to a melee involving just about every player as well as various staff members.

The headlines afterwards may have been about Leicester winning the title, but Chelsea were content with stopping Spurs from winning it.

With Chelsea set to take on Tottenham this Sunday, with Jose Mourinho's side riding high at the top of the league, Azpilicueta hopes the Blues can inflict more suffering on their city rivals.

“It’s one of those kinds of games when you usually feel a special atmosphere at the Bridge and that game [in 2016], we were having a terrible season, we were losing 2-0 at half-time," the Spaniard told the Telegraph.

"But, in the second half, the electricity around the stadium... I think something clicked that day that even though we were not playing for anything, just to not let Tottenham win the league. It was not only the game, it was the title race as well that they were involved in.

“Every year is different and we had a very good record against them until two or three seasons ago when we lost, but, hopefully, we can keep beating them at the Bridge."

Azpliciueta says the passion to win these games against Spurs comes from an extreme desire to be the best team in London.

I think something clicked that day that even though we were not playing for anything, just to not let Tottenham win the league.Cesar Azpilicueta on the Battle of the Bridge

“Since I arrived at Chelsea, I always tried to have the winning mentality of every game to finish at the top for the top trophies.

"That includes being the top team in London and we want to be at the top because that means we are the number ones. That’s what we fight for. We are in good form and, hopefully, we can improve on last season and now reach higher levels.”

Chelsea, too, are enjoying a good start to the 2020/21 campaign, sitting in third at the moment.

They spent over £220m on new recruits in the summer, and although it took some time for the new-look team to gel, Frank Lampard has overseen an impressive run of form as of late.

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