Cesar Azpilicueta says the ‘Champions League is where Chelsea belong’ after holding on to beat Lille 2-1 and qualify for the knockout stages of the competition.
First half goals from Tammy Abraham and the Blues captain saw the home side in complete control at Stamford Bridge, but they failed to add to that tally.
Knowing they must win, a late Loic Remy goal for Lille led to nervy, nail-biting final 12 minutes.
Speaking to BT Sport after the match, the 30-year-old said they had to fight and recover to get through what has been a tough group in this year’s competition.
"Champions League is where Chelsea belong,” he told the broadcaster. “We know it was a tough group - last year's semi-finalists Ajax have been knocked out.
"We had to fight and recover after losing against Valencia at home in our first game. But now we are in the last 16 the focus has to switch back to the Premier League until the competition starts again next year."
Abraham, who put Chelsea in front in the 19th minute, has now scored 13 goals in all competitions so far this season for the Blues, and he was delighted to secure qualification to the last 16.
"I'm very excited to be in the next round,” the 22-year-old added. "We came into the match needing to win and thankfully we did. Now I can't wait for the next round."