Analysis

Lampard on coping with pressure, Pulisic’s form and Kepa’s clean sheet

Frank Lampard was pleased to see his team pick up the three points under big pressure and had praise for Christian Pulisic and Kepa Arrizabalaga’s roles in victory over Watford.

We defeated the Hornets 3-0 at Stamford Bridge with an assured and confident performance, despite knowing we needed to win to return to the Champions League qualification places after being knocked out of the top four by results elsewhere earlier in the day.

‘I’m pleased with the team performance,’ said Lampard. ‘It was solid, very strong defensively as well. We knew there’d be some longer balls, we knew set-pieces would be an issue, but we dealt with them well.

‘I think every game’s going to be pressure now. At West Ham there was pressure because we knew we could go third. It’s a different kind of pressure but it’s still the same. It’s how you focus on the game and the job in hand, we cannot get too caught up with what everyone else does at the moment and we did that well.

‘There was no nonsense, the mentality was good, we started bright and carried on and got the small details of the game right at both ends of the pitch, which I was pleased with.’

Pulisic continued the excellent form he has shown since the Premier League restart, with his pace and skill proving to be a constant problem for Watford, resulting in the penalty which allowed us to go two goals ahead before half-time.

‘He was playing very well, he got injured at the start of January and he’d been injured until the restart. But what he looks now is sharp and hungry and his quality is there for everyone to see at the moment. He’s going past players, he’s moving at pace, he always works very hard for the team in all senses to be fair.

‘So I’m very happy with him and considering his age, considering what could be coming from him, I’m very, very pleased and we’ve got ourselves a very good player and he’ll get even better.’

There was also praise for our players at the other end of the pitch as we kept a clean sheet, helped by a crucial late save from Kepa with the score at 2-0 to make sure there wouldn’t be a nervy finish to the match.

‘It was important and I’m pleased for him. Pleased for the back four in front of him as well, because I thought we defended pretty well when we needed to. But the moment when we slipped and they got in he makes a really good save and that’s what you want from your goalkeeper. You want him to stay alert and make those sort of saves. It’s going to be great for his confidence, the clean sheet, as well.’

The only sour note was an injury to N'Golo Kante. 

'Kante has got a small hamstring issue,' revealed the boss. 'He'll have a scan tomorrow so we'll have to see how bad it is but I'm guessing it will be a problem for Crystal Palace on Tuesday.'

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