Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta awake in hospital after kick to head vs. Southampton

Cesar Azpilicueta will stay in hospital overnight after being kicked in the head in Chelsea's 1-0 defeat to Southampton the Premier League on Saturday, manager Graham Potter said.

The under-fire Chelsea manager said he expected the defender to remain in hospital for at least 24 hours after he was hit in the face by an attempted overhead kick by Southampton opponent Sekou Mara in the 74th minute.

Azpilicueta, who is captain of Chelsea, was taken off on a stretcher wearing a neck brace and breathing from an oxygen mask after a 10-minute stoppage.

"Thankfully he's conscious," Potter said. "He's in hospital. He spoke to his wife, I believe. So we're just obviously monitoring and very concerned for him. ... It was not a nice thing to see."

The 33-year-old Azpilicueta joined Chelsea in 2012 and has helped the club win two Premier League titles and the Champions League in 2021. He was named club captain in 2019.