Chelsea “have to improve” if they are to hit their targets this season, says Cesar Azpilicueta, with the Blues surviving an FA Cup scare at Hull City to book their place in round five.
Frank Lampard’s side looked to be in for a comfortable evening at the KCOM Stadium when Michy Batshuayi broke the deadlock inside six minutes.
Taking chances and killing games off has, however, been a problem for the Premier League giants of late.
That proved to be the case again in East Yorkshire, with Hull hanging in and posing plenty of problems through the lively Jarrod Bowen.
Fikayo Tomori did eventually double Chelsea’s lead, but a deflected free-kick from Kamil Grosicki offered the home side hope.
They were unable to find a late leveller, with Azpilicueta left to reflect on another performance which shows how much work the Blues still have to do.
Chelsea’s club captain told BT Sport on the back of a nervy 2-1 win: “We have to improve our game if we want to improve as a team and go far. It is not the first game where we don’t manage the game well. We were punished.
“First half the first chance we have, we score and we have chances to score more but we stopped playing our game. If we want to play against the best and fight for trophies we need to improve.
“We are a team and the season is long. We are fighting in three competitions. Our objective is to go as far as possible. It is our job to be in the best shape possible.”
Tomori echoed the sentiments of his skipper, with the highly-rated defender conceding that Chelsea need to find a way of becoming more clinical.
He said: “We could have killed the game in the first half. We said at half-time that we need to be solid at the back. My goal came at a good time but it got difficult at the end.
“It is a one-off game and teams will go for it. If we got the third it is easy but we had to ride it out.”
Having edged out Hull, Chelsea are now waiting on the draw for the fifth round.
They are also through to the last 16 of the Champions League, where they will face Bayern Munich, and continue to chase down a top-four finish in the Premier League.
Lampard’s side are about to hit what is arguably their toughest run of the season, with their next four outings set to see them take on Leicester, Manchester United, Tottenham and Bayern.