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Cesar Azpilicueta defends Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount after Jose Mourinho criticism

Tammy Abraham in action for Chelsea in their 4-0 defeat at Manchester United on the opening weekend of the 2019/20 Premier League season
Image: Tammy Abraham hit the post for Chelsea in the first half against Manchester United

Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta has defended Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount after criticism from Jose Mourinho in the wake of their 4-0 defeat at Manchester United on Sunday.

New Sky Sports pundit Jose Mourinho - who has managed Chelsea twice, as well as United - questioned Frank Lampard's decision to name the inexperienced duo in his starting line-up at Old Trafford.

But Azpilicueta insisted Abraham and Mount deserve to be in the side, as the Londoners look to bounce back from their loss in their opening game of the new Premier League season when they play Liverpool in the Super Cup in Istanbul on Wednesday.

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Frank Lampard is asked about Jose Mourinho's criticism of Mason Mount following Chelsea's 4-0 defeat to Manchester United

"If they are here it is because they deserve to be," said Azpilicueta. "They are fighting in every training session. We trust in them.

Mason Mount
Image: Mason Mount played in Chelsea's defeat at Old Trafford

"All the boys, they train to play for the Chelsea first team since they were young and now we have a massive opportunity to create a fantastic group, to learn from every game.

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"Obviously everyone would like to start in a better way but we have to face the reality and become stronger from it."

Abraham and Mount started brightly at Old Trafford, with the 21-year-old England striker hitting the post, leaving Chelsea unlucky to be behind at the interval following Marcus Rashford's penalty.

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Highlights from Manchester United's 4-0 win against Chelsea in the Premier League

But Lampard's side struggled to keep in touch in the second half with further goals from Anthony Martial and Daniel James either side of a Rashford strike sealing their fate.

"We know that Chelsea always fights for everything," added Azpilicueta. "When you don't win, the questions around get more and more but we have to cope with it.

Cesar Azpilicueta
Image: Cesar Azpilicueta has sprung to the defence of Abraham and Mount

"We know that playing for Chelsea requires your best effort in every game so we have to learn from the game.

"We know that we can improve. We have to face it, take the responsibility and move forward. We have a trophy to fight for on Wednesday against a good team and we have to be ready for it."

Chelsea face Leicester in the Premier League on Sunday - live on Sky Sports - on their return from the Super Cup.

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