LAMPARD: BACK ON TRACK
Frank Lampard considers Saturday's 3-0 win at West Ham, to which he contributed two goals, to be Chelsea's best away performance of the season so far.
The vice-captain's brace sandwiched an Oscar strike to get the team back to winning ways in the league after the defeat at Newcastle and the draw at home to West Brom. The goals gave Lampard a personal tally of five goals in his last five appearances against his former club, but speaking after the game, it was the team performance that pleased him just as much.
'Our away form this season hasn't been up to scratch and we had a big emphasis in the run-up to this game to get it right,' Lampard said. 'From the first minute you could see an energy about us and we were creating chances, and when we have that and move the ball so well then we are going to get a win.
'It was very important for us to get back on track. We knew if we kept losing silly points we would put ourselves out of the race.
'From the first minute we had a good work-rate with and without the ball. Oscar was fantastic first half, chasing people down in the corner, winning balls back, and we were breaking really quickly with the ball and our movement was great. When we play like that we are very hard to beat.'
Adding to the satisfaction with the result was the fact it came on the back of an international break with many players travelling abroad. Our Brazilians for instance played two games in North America before returning to Cobham on Thursday.
'We lost at Everton after an international break but this time there was a lot of focus and we have some very fit young players in Ramires and Oscar who can run all day, and are very robust for the slight frames they have,' pointed out Lampard.
'Oscar is top notch and he can go on to be even better. He plays with the maturity of someone a lot older. He has constant movement and his awareness is fantastic and to have the no. 10 shirt for Brazil at the age he has had it and to wear it so well, shows what a player he is. We are lucky to have him.'
Lampard's goals were his first in the league since the opening day. A reshaped formation at Upton Park that was more 4-3-3 with John Mikel Obi anchoring the midfield required the other midfielders to push forward and not sit too deep.
'The penalty was a bit nerve-wracking because of the atmosphere and I put my foot through it and I was delighted to see it hit the back of the net,' Lampard said. 'When you start the game well you always want to get that goal and my second goal just dropped lovely for me, I knew where I was going to put it.
'I was delighted with that because at 2-0 against West Ham, if they get one back they are going to pump balls in your box to make it difficult, we had that last year here when they beat us, so that was the goal that really killed it off.'