At the weekend Frank Lampard had the rare experience this season of having to speak about his team after they had failed to score a goal in a game. Tonight he was thankfully back to analysing some of his young players on target.
Goals from England pair Tammy Abraham, against his loan club of last season, and Mason Mount were enough for a 2-1 win over Aston Villa which steadied our ship after defeats against Manchester City and West Ham, and both of those were focused on by Lampard after the final whistle.
He was pleased Abraham was back in action after injury ruled him out of the West Ham game and although the striker came off again near the end in a little pain, that does not look bad according to the boss.
‘Tammy at the moment is a striker that is near the top of the goalscoring charts in the league,’ he added, ‘and is showing his all-round game which stretches defences and starts our press.
‘He is a personality that is growing in our dressing room every day with his enthusiasm and his will to win and of course if a player is on such a good run and they come out of the team then it is normal you can miss them, and today he came back in as he left off.’
Mason Mount’s goal was his first for Chelsea for two months although he has recently scored for England.
‘I don’t think Mason should be measured solely on goals,’ pointed out Lampard. ‘We had an international break and he did not start a couple of games but goals are part of his game and his all-round game in the second half is what we expect of him, because it wasn’t just the goal, it was the threat he had from the edge of the box, his link-up and his winning the ball back in high areas which is his game. I thought he had a really good second half.’
Another youngster to receive praise from the boss was Christian Pulisic.
‘He is playing really well. He can score more, we have a player in Christian who is someone who is really exciting us but when you see this type of player, you see another level which is goals and assists and he has the ability to go on to that extra level which is the top level of world football.
‘At the moment he is doing really well and hopefully that will be the next part of the progression.’
Unfortunately there were less positive words about the condition of Ruben Loftus-Cheek who has not played this season due to an Achilles injury.
‘Ruben has had a few setbacks over the last two months. He hasn’t had a new one but it is not flying along as much as we would want and it is not for the want of trying by everybody, including Ruben himself. There is nothing worse than being injured but at the moment we are no closer to him being fit.’
Returning to those who were fit to play against Villa, Lampard reflected on the display overall.
‘The three points should have been more comfortable at the end, we were by far the better team, we created a lot of chances, which has been a pretty regular story of our season.
‘We need to be more clinical but in terms of the team I saw, it was the team I want to see. The West Ham game it wasn’t – probably the one game this season when we have been below par in the basics and today was the team we want again. We did really well, the whole game.
‘The reason we have got credit was because of our performances this season; the energy and the urgency and how we want to play, a lot of speed in our game, and that came away at West Ham. We must accept that because it can happen and it was a nice little lesson for us and the only thing then was the reaction, and today we were back to what we are.’