By Dominic Toner
Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta played 90 minutes on Saturday in the win against Crystal Palace – and the club’s supporters were pleased with his performance on Twitter.
The Blues recorded a narrow 1-0 away victory against Palace and opened up a nine point gap at the top of the Premier League table.
Azpilicueta delivered a man-0f-the-match performance in the three-man Chelsea defence and managed to keep forward Christian Benteke quiet.
The 27-year-old has been transformed into a centre-back this season by manager Antonio Conte and has adapted very quickly since his move from full-back.
Chelsea fans were thrilled with his display against Palace and one fan even claimed he is currently the best defender in the league.
Here is a selection of their messages on Twitter:
@CesarAzpi is the best defender in the league, another amazing performance by the man.
— Dave Azpilicueta (@DaveCFC28) December 17, 2016
Azpilicueta was different class today, absolute gem
— Joe (@CFCDavies_) December 17, 2016
Azpilicueta today was absolutely outstanding, 7 million paid for him is one of the best purchases the club has ever made
— Carl Jackson (@jacko_cfc) December 17, 2016
10 out of 10 performance from Azpilicueta
— Conte Style (@Pranav_CFC) December 17, 2016
Another excellent performance from Azpilicueta. A well deserved man of the match award.
— Conte's CFC (@CFC_Everything) December 17, 2016
— Paul (@PauloPanic) December 17, 2016
Chelsea's best CB this season? Tough battle between Luiz and Azpilicueta but I'm leaning towards Dave. Dude's a RB ffs
— Shoggy Dee (@Shoggy_Dee) December 17, 2016
Chelsea are now one a 11-game winning run in the Premier League and have kept nine clean sheets during that time.
Azpilicueta has excelled in the right sided centre-back position and has slotted in well alongside team-mates David Luiz and Gary Cahill.
He moved to Stamford Bridge in 2012 from French club Marseille and was initially the successor to left-back Ashley Cole, but now appears to have found his best position in the heart of the defence.
Azpilicueta has now made 201 appearances across all competitions and is playing a crucial role in the club’s challenge for the title.
Chelsea still have the likes of John Terry and Kurt Zouma trying to force their way into the starting XI, but Spain international Azpilicueta looks unlikely to give up his position in the near future.
In other Chelsea news, Ashely Cole has responded to the victory against Palace.