Tammy Abraham’s 12th Premier League goal of the season, and what proved to be the winner on Sunday afternoon at Arsenal, was the young striker’s first goal against one of the traditional ‘big-six’ clubs, a fact that was not lost on either the player or his manager after the 2-1 win.
The goal completed a turnaround for Chelsea who were trailing 1-0 and heading for a second defeat in three days before Jorginho’s leveller and then the killer blow from our centre-forward.‘I am so glad to score the winning goal against one of the big-six sides and hopefully that kicks off for the rest of my career,’ said Abraham.‘I got the ball and pretended to go on my left foot before going back to my right foot and as soon as I turned, I saw the keeper running out and I just placed it in – a nice little nutmeg!‘The top teams have top-class defenders and midfielders who know how to isolate the striker during the game. It is about staying focused and staying relaxed for when I got my chance, and I did.’
Lampard described it as an important moment in the 22-year-old’s development.‘It hopefully will help him because he is a goalscorer. His numbers are great this year and they can get even better and at Tottenham last week he showed everything you want to see out of him other than a goal.‘People will always look whether you have scored against the big six, I understand that, but I have no doubt he will do and as he develops he will do that even more, and this goal will help him going forward.’It was reward not only for Chelsea’s improvement in the second half of the game but also for Abraham’s persistence, as he had an earlier chance blocked and had headed another straight at the goalkeeper.‘That is the beauty of Tammy,’ noted Lampard, ‘that he will never hide or shirk trying to get in there again. He is constantly wanting to get in the box and be hungry.‘He does not get his shot away quickly enough on the first chance when David Luiz blocks it but is happy to get there again and have a second, and when he swivelled and shot it was a good bit of skill.’
Looking at the game overall, Abraham was happy to reciprocate the praise from his manager when he acknowledged the impact of Lampard’s tactical switch during the first half, which prompted an improved display.‘We were not good enough in the first 20 to 30 minutes,’ the player said. ‘Give credit to Arsenal, they dominated us in places like midfield which is key in football. Give credit to the manager as well, he made a change and the players bounced off that and in the second half it was a performance everyone wants to see.‘We were outnumbered in midfield so we needed to change and the change helped us a lot.‘Our team never stops fighting. We were told at half-time to not stop fighting and to go out there and believe in ourselves and that is what we did in the second half.‘We know our away form is good. It is just about us fixing our form at home. This gives us confidence, beating two of the big sides in two weekends.’