For the second Sunday running Frank Lampard was able to celebrate in front of the travelling supporters in one of our big London rivals’ stadiums.
There were contrasts to the wins against Tottenham and Arsenal, today’s against the Gunners due to late goals from Jorginho and Tammy Abraham after the opposition had scored first, and it took different characteristics to win according to the boss – characteristics he was very pleased to see.
Lampard himself took decisive action with 10 minutes still to go to half-time when he brought on Jorginho and switched from three to four at the back, but speaking afterwards he does not think the initial team selection was wrong.
‘When we played as we did at Tottenham last week, I probably would have questioned my sanity if I had come to Arsenal and we played four at the back and it had gone that way in the first half-hour,’ he pointed out. ‘For me the main thing in the first half-hour was not the tactics, it was the spirit and the fight. Arsenal were quicker, we were lethargic, they were brave, we were nervous.
‘You say I was decisive but I could have made the change after 10 minutes, and not just Emerson coming off, any of the players could to change it slightly. It is hard to convey a message with your voice on the sidelines with this sort of atmosphere so sometimes it has to be a gesture.
‘We changed and it got better. Mikel Arteta [the new Arsenal boss] is not silly. He saw us play at Tottenham and found a way to pin our five back. We had three men marking one at the back and they had numbers in midfield and they won all the second balls, and that had to change.’
Lampard acknowledged the turnaround showed spirit but added:
‘I don’t want to declare that we are full of spirit because we have not done it enough this season, so it is a great sign for us and a message to the players now we have won that game, to see the difference it makes from turning up to a game at this level and this atmosphere and not having it, and then having it in the second half.
‘We had it to the end – the fight, the desire to keep pushing and we controlled every part of the second half other than a couple of breakaways. But with us at the moment you do worry if we are going to score. That has been our problem at home, control but we are not going to score. It took maybe a bit of a mistake from Arsenal’s point of view to get the first goal, and then Willian and Tammy had the energy and the nous to get the second goal.’
Lampard spoke about half-time when his team were 1-0 down and the response from his players…
‘You don’t want 11 quiet players who go let’s get on with it and just trot out the game. I said my piece, it was pretty firm, you can’t come here and have nothing about you. Win, lose or draw, I was not so bothered in terms of how I saw the second half coming. It was a case of can we show something here lads, because we have to. We are Chelsea and we can’t roll up and not feel like the 3,000 fans who have travelled across London to watch the game. And then the lads started talking and it was a bit aggressive, which is a good thing.
‘The response in the second half was everything I wanted. We have been rightly questioned recently. Everton away would be a good one, a team that had life breathed into them by a new manager and we didn’t react and it was quiet after that game in the dressing room and I did not like that, and some of our home games recently were lacking something.
‘This is not a turning point, it is only a turning point if we show it going forward, but we showed we can have a right go and win a game in a different way. At Tottenham we won it by playing really good football from beginning to end and today we won it by showing fighting spirit. If we can put them together then we will have a chance.’
Lampard gave a debut to 19-year-old Tariq Lamptey as a sub with plenty of the second half to go…
‘Tariq Lamptey is a credit to Jody Morris and Joe Edwards,’ he said, ‘because when we sat and analysed the last two days and we knew Cesar Azpilicueta had a small injury and Reece James is injured then we are looking at options for a right-back or right wing-back.
‘They said believe in him, trust in him, because they did and I listened to that. We felt it was the right time to bring him into the game and he was a catalyst because we were getting down the sides and he gave us a little bit more of an edge.
‘He has pace, a low centre of gravity and can go by people. He wants to work on his end product but my question to Jody when he came on was has he got the confidence and the personality to deal with this. It is a tough game to come on with the responsibility to try to turn it, and Jody said yeah, no problem, and when he drove inside and slipped Tammy in for a shot, it was a great example of someone coming on a bit fearless and sometimes you get that with youth.’