‘Jorginho is important for us to control the game’ - Azpilicueta and Loftus-Cheek hail Chelsea midfielder

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The Italy international has come under fire in his debut season with the Blues but earned plaudits from his team-mates in their Europa League draw

Cesar Azpilicueta and Ruben Loftus-Cheek hailed the importance of midfielder Jorginho in Chelsea’s 1-1 draw with Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League semi-finals. 

Jorginho has come under fire during his debut season at Stamford Bridge after his move from Napoli, following Maurizio Sarri from the Serie A club. 

The midfielder has often come to symbolise the frustration and struggles of the Blues under the Italian in his first year, though he has them on course for the top four as well as still in the hunt for a Europa League title. 

And Jorginho was considered instrumental today by his team-mates as the Blues erased a 1-0 deficit to grab a result and an away goal in the first leg in Germany, while also shaking off a head injury to go the distance for his team. 

“Jorginho dictated the play,” Loftus-Cheek told BT Sport. “He sucks players in which gives me space to turn and run at players. 

“Second half we had most of the play, we were in control apart from a few counter-attacks.” 

Likewise, Azpilicueta noted the impact Jorginho has on the proceedings, helping the team recover their composure and deal with Frankfurt’s pressure. 

"At 1-0 down we were a bit in trouble but we ended the first half well and in the second half we had more chances than them," Azpilicueta  said to BT Sport. “We knew that we did not start well, we couldn't cope with their pressure and conceded. 

"We scored at a good time which was important, and the ambition of the team was to win the game in the second half. Jorginho is important for us to control the game.” 

Luka Jovic’s opener put Chelsea in a difficult position 23 minutes in, but a Pedro goal at the stroke of half-time brought the Blues level. 

With a result and an away goal in their pocket, the Blues are in position to take their place in the final in Baku with a victory at Stamford Bridge next Thursday. 

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But while Azpilicueta  believes the result was important, he is taking nothing for granted as he implored his team-mates to complete their task in the second leg. 

“We have an away goal which is important, but it is only the first step,” he added. “Everything will be decided next Thursday. They are a dangerous team. 

“The job started in September, now let's finish it and bring our fans to Baku." 

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