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Euro 2016

Luiz: Europa League success important

David Luiz believes Chelsea's season will be deemed more successful if the Blues win the Europa League than if they been eliminated beyond the group stage of the Champions League.

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A 2-1 defeat to Manchester City in the FA Cup on Monday has left Chelsea with one trophy left to fight for and the defender claims he would rather win the Europa League than be sent out in the quarter-finals of Europe's top tier competition.

"If you win the Europa League and stay to play Champions League next year of course it's a success," Luiz said. "Some big teams in Europe don't win titles this year, so of course it's a success."

Chelsea will have to wait another year to add to their four league titles, although manager Rafa Benitez may endear himself to fans at Stamford Bridge if his side secures Champions League qualification and continues their Europa League run.

Luiz is confident a positive run of form to end the current campaign will prime Chelsea for a serious challenge in the Premier League next season.

"This is Chelsea," he said. "When Chelsea want to play football they're just so good. We have a difficult competition. This season we want to win everything.

"Now we cannot win the league, but we can stay in the best position and we can win another European title. Work for that. The next season is the next season. The future."

Chelsea began the season in contention for seven trophies, although defender Cesar Azpilicueta denies the Blues have lost their fear factor in England and Europe with failure in six of them.

"It's not normal for Chelsea, but it's the reality. Now we need to be focused on the future," the Spaniard said. "We have the semi-final of the Europa League that we can win and fight for the Champions League place.

"At the end of the season we will look at the balance of the season, but now it's one month of competition. It's the last month and the best games. We played one semi-final, now we're going to play the Europa League semi-final. We're fighting for third place and the Champions League.

"Now we need to be focused and not think about that because it doesn't matter. We need to win and it doesn't matter the way to do it. It's very important always to win trophies. We wanted to win all the trophies we had at the start of the season. Now the only trophy that we can win is the Europa League and we're going to try to win it."

Azpilicueta echoed Luiz's calls to focus on the Europa League title, but the 23-year-old believes Wednesday's clash with Fulham is one of the most important games as the Stamford Bridge club attempt to open up a four-point gap over fifth-placed Tottenham.

"We have one month. Champions League is massive for us for next season. We're going to try to get in," he said.


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