The Blues captain will be hospitalised overnight after being kicked in the head during Chelsea’s 1-0 loss to Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday, according to manager Graham Potter.
The club manager said Cesar Azpilicueta would be in hospital for at least 24 hours after being hit in the face by an attempted overhead kick by Southampton opponent Sekou Mara in the 74th minute. After a 10-minute stoppage, the Spaniard was carried off on a stretcher while wearing a neck brace and breathing through an oxygen mask.
“Thankfully he’s conscious. He’s in hospital. He spoke to his wife, I believe. So we’re just obviously monitoring and very concerned for him. … It was not a nice thing to see,”Potter said.
After James Ward-Prowse delivered one of his trademark freekicks to give his team the lead at Stamford Bridge, the Blues were chasing a goal that would have at least given them a point. Despite Chelsea throwing everything at Southampton, that goal was enough to secure the Saints’ first league victory of the season.
While defeat means Chelsea have only won two of their last fourteen games in all competitions, Potter is under increasing pressure following yet another disappointing performance. Southampton also won their first league double against Chelsea in 35 years. They last accomplished this feat with a 1-0 victory at Stamford Bridge in 1988, when a 17-year-old Alan Shearer made his league debut.
The Blues are currently without long-term injured players N’Golo Kante, Edouard Mendy, Christian Pulisic, and Armando Broja.
Azpilicueta, one of the most experienced Premier League players, will be a huge loss if he is unable to recover in time for next weekend’s London derby against Tottenham. The SAints will be hoping that this win kickstarts their climb out of the bottom of the table, while Chelsea remain in 10th place.