Chelsea captain César Azpilicueta is concerned opposition teams are no longer fearful about facing the club, following their third defeat in four Premier League games.
Goals from Michael Obafemi and Nathan Redmond saw Ralph Hasenhüttl’s relegation-threatened Southampton pick up all three points against Chelsea on Boxing Day – the Blues have now dropped 16 points at Stamford Bridge this season.
Chelsea will be back on the road for their last game of the year, but Azpilicueta has voiced his concerns about the club’s abnormal record at home as well as the club’s fear factor against the league’s smaller sides.
“It’s true that when teams see we have not won games, they come here with more confidence because they see they can do it,” Azpilicueta said, quoted by The Guardian.
“So forget tactics. Everything is about recovering the respect at home, being solid at home, because it is not normal to lose so many games in your stadium.
“I don’t think the pressure of playing at home should be negative. It should be the opposite. We have the players, we have the quality and we have to turn it around straight away. The lesson has been very harsh – losing three [recent] games and scoring zero goals.
“It’s difficult to understand why this is happening because normally at home you find teams a bit more defensive, we can enjoy more time on the ball and you can create more chances.
“It’s up to us. When you play at home it is not about the rival, it is about yourself – about moving the ball quickly to find the spaces, to create chances and give the fans and ourselves a lift.”
Chelsea’s record away from home might be more impressive ahead of their trip to Arsenal, but Frank Lampard’s side have still only won one of their last three Premier League matches outside of Stamford Bridge.