Frank Lampard watched his team record its biggest league win at Stamford Bridge under his management with the 3-0 victory over Burnley, and afterwards he was especially pleased it was done with the type of football he believes the Chelsea fans want to see.
Again the young players were to the fore, even if the first goal owed much to the experienced Willian who won a penalty and the well-established Jorginho who converted it. After that it was Tammy Abraham who made it 2-0 with his 15th goal of the season, scored from a Reece James cross, with Callum Hudson-Odoi completing the scoring.
‘It was just what was needed in terms of performance and result,’ was Lampard’s reaction in his post-match media conference.
‘The one thing that was obvious to everyone is that we could have scored more goals but at least we did score, and we scored in the first half. A big factor in the recent losses at home was that we had a relative amount of control and didn’t score, everyone got a bit nervous and we conceded.
‘Today was different in how it looked because we started positively from minute one, we were so fast in our passing and running off the ball, and the control of the game felt good. We got our goal and it is a big win for us and one we must replicate and realise why. We had a good long week of work on the training ground that helped get that result and performance.
‘I am not getting carried away but it feels nice to smile during a game and enjoy what you are watching – positive football with great movement off the ball and getting combinations down the sides and crossing balls a lot. And looking like we are going to score a lot of goals. That is what excites the fans, and I have felt for the fans in recent home games because I understand it is not that exciting when the level and the speed of the game comes down. Today we changed all that.’
Hudson-Odoi’s goal was his first in the Premier League and follows up on the one he netted against Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup last weekend…
‘For Callum to score in the six-yard box is more exciting for me than to see him score from 35 yards,’ explained Lampard, ‘because it means he is prepared to run the extra bit, to sprint in there, and it was not the only time he did it in this game.
‘He did it with one of the early chances we had when he got it wide. He was doing it and he was recovering, he was running, he was playing higher up the park at the right times and his overall performance was an absolute statement for Callum on what he needs to do. That was the real Callum Hudson-Odoi and what he can be, because there is obviously more to come. His goal was brilliant for him and if he can carry on doing that then we know the serious player that we have in Callum.’
Reece James, who was also involved in the move that won the penalty as well as the second goal, also earned praise from the boss…
‘He has a great delivery of cross and more than that, he is good on the ball and physically he is so good as well and he is so young. This is just the start for him and the way I want us to play, the full-backs are going to be huge for us.
‘To get it to where we want it they have to be able to join in and be an attacking threat and he certainly is for us. Reece is a big weapon at the minute which we have to use well because there is a lot of juice on those crosses. We have anticipate them and get across people and make goals like we did with the Tammy one.’
Lampard was asked about the Chelsea fans singing anti-VAR songs despite today’s video decisions going our way…
‘I have heard it before, it is not just us. I think it is a general thing and I don’t think fans are singing about the one-off ones, because we all want decisions to go in our team’s favour.
‘I believe it is more the passion killer, and the fact you have to wait and you can’t celebrate, and then that moment you celebrate gets taken away. For me that is the feeling. I am still not an advocate of yes or no with VAR, I still think we may have to work on it to see what we can get because there are some decisions it will get right when in previous years they would not have been right, but I understand the frustrations.’
The head coach also had an update on the hamstring problem that kept N’Golo Kante out of the game…
‘He got through training yesterday but it was something that came up last night and then we made a decision this morning. It was more of an awareness in the hamstring, as opposed to a moment he had to pull up, so that makes you hope it is a small thing but we will have to see how it goes.’