Frank Lampard looked back to Champions League matchday one from his first season as Chelsea boss when he analysed Tuesday evening’s 0-0 draw with Sevilla at Stamford Bridge, and he also gave his verdict on one of his defenders and his goalkeeper.
In the corresponding fixture last time around his side lost at home to another Spanish side, Valencia, and he remembers the effect of that defeat and the pressure it put us under to get through the group, even though we eventually did. That contrast with this season, and the way team responded to the defensive failings seen in the weekend’s 3-3 draw with Valencia, are why Lampard considers this latest draw a positive result.
‘I was pleased with the professional element to it,’ he said. ‘I spoke to the players about game management, and the Southampton game was a hit for us, and the reaction today was a really positive one.
‘Seville are a top team in European football, of that there is no doubt, and the concentration and the focus you need in the Champions League to get a clean sheet was big from the team. The decisions we made when we defended well, the decisions we made when we played longer as opposed to keeping possession, there were a lot of good ones and it is a nice base for us to build from.
‘I understand the importance of the first [group stage] game against quality opposition and this was a tough one. The clean sheet was a big deal for us. Seville can give you a lot of problems. They put crosses in your box and are physical, and have a real distinct way of playing that makes them hard to press. We matched them in many ways and both teams slightly worked each other out and it was a good game to manage. I am happy with the 0-0 on this occasion.’
Lampard spoke about the parts Thiago Silva and Edouard Mendy, who both came back into the side for this game, played in ensuring that scoreless result.
‘Thiago Silva was very good today. He brought both quality and experience as we hoped and he affects others around him. He was a big plus and a part in keeping the clean sheet.
‘I will manage his workload this season. I have a very close relationship with him already and I remember being in that position towards the back end of my career so I will be very aware of his maintenance and training and game selection, to try to have him at his optimum.
‘In the three games Edouard Mendy has played since he has been here he has played very well. He made a good save today and that is two clean sheets. When he came in I said he will be great for competition, we knew his qualities and he has shown them, so at the moment he is first choice but that is always up for grabs and that is why you have competition.’