Frank Lampard admitted he had concerns prior to our game against Newcastle that the two-week international break might have lessened his team’s momentum and dimmed the memories of how we had been playing well in the previous few games.
He need not have worried as a good second-half display at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon, and a Marcos Alonso goal, overcame a difficulty defensive opposition side and made it five wins in a row for the Blues.
‘Credit to Newcastle,’ noted Lampard when he spoke after the game. ‘You can see why they have had a couple of big results this year. They are organised, they have men behind the ball, they are a threat on the counter-attack, and in the first half, albeit we created a couple of chances, we were a bit safe, a bit slow. We did move the ball from side to side but not with enough risk to sometimes take people out of the game and that was the message at half-time.
‘In the second half, for the majority of it we did that. Our combinations were good, we played between the lines more, people were going one-v-one – Callum Hudson-Odoi, Willian and Christian Pulisic when he came on - and it should have been more goals to make the last 10 minutes more comfortable.
On that subject, Lampard had further praise for Pulisic who was introduced with half-an-hour to play and for Hudson-Odoi, who was one of the team’s standout players throughout the 90 minutes.
‘I am pleased for Christian as he is a hot topic because of the price tag and his status with his national team,’ said the boss, ‘but everyone has got carried away with the short term, and the long term is he has come here and has just turned 21 and it is good to see him play like he did today and there is more to come.
‘He should feel good about today because he was a big part of us winning.
‘Callum was really good, he had product on the wing, taking people on. He looked sharp, getting at people and was a big threat, and I am really pleased with that. The end product will come even more with Callum. He was giving Newcastle a big problem and he needs to carry on doing that.’
One downside of the day was seeing Ross Barkley, who had come into the side in the place of injured N’Golo Kante, forced off before half-time. Lampard was able to report he does not anticipate Cesar Azpilicueta being troubled by a late knock, on Barkley’s condition he reported:
‘Ross turned his ankle and it looks a bit nasty at first glance but the doctor wants to have a look tomorrow.’
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