Chelsea defender Azpilicueta aiming to overtake Arsenal

The 24-year-old full-back believes that Jose Mourinho's side are improving as a team, and has targeted Saturday's clash with Newcastle as a chance to leapfrog the Gunners
Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta has set his sights on overtaking Arsenal at the top of the Premier League this weekend and believes the Blues are improving with every game.

The versatile full-back was an unlikely hero for the Stamford Bridge outfit in Tuesday’s Capital One Cup clash against Arsenal, scoring the opening goal of the game and helping his side run out comfortable 2-0 winners at the Emirates Stadium.

Mourinho’s men have won six games in a row, and with Arsenal facing tough tests against Liverpool and Manchester United in the coming weeks, the Spanish full-back sees Chelsea's lunchtime clash with Newcastle as the perfect opportunity to top the table.

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"We have the chance to overtake them this weekend, although we know how hard it will be at Newcastle,” the 24-year-old told The Mirror.

"But it is true that Arsenal have two really difficult games: Liverpool and then Manchester United. We don't need to look to the other teams, but to keep working. We are improving in every game, and this is the most important.

"I think we are growing up as a team. We are second, two points behind Arsenal but we are going to try to be the first."

Featuring only intermittently under Mourinho so far this season, the Spain international was buoyed by his manager’s comments in last Sunday’s programme notes, in which the 50-year-old praised the full-back for his work-ethic and commitment.

"I saw what he wrote, and I feel really good about it. I feel this confidence from him because when he needs me I try to do my best in every position.

"The most important for me is the team, and if he needs me to play as a left-back, as a right winger, I try to do my best and to do the job for the team.

"Last season, as well, I didn't start playing but by the end I played practically every game. This year it is a different manager, who plays Ivanovic. But I am training, very happy, and I feel confidence with him.

"It's true that I am not playing a lot of games, but the season is young. I had the chance to play two League Cup games, I played against Schalke, so I feel really confident with the team, with the manager, and I am happy with the work that I am doing.

"The season is very long, and we will need everybody to win trophies."