Fikayo Tomori will never forget his first Chelsea goal, although if things had turned out slightly differently the defender wouldn’t have found himself in the position to fire us ahead against Wolves.
Just after the half-hour mark we tried a short corner routine that didn’t pay off. When Mason Mount was tackled near the touchline, Tomori was between Cesar Azpilicueta, our last defender, and the rest of the players still stationed in the box, anticipating a cross. Jorginho was just to his right. Tomori takes up the story.
‘First up Azpi was calling me back to stop the counter-attack, and the ball broke out,’ he said.
‘I thought ‘why not?’ and thankfully it managed to hit the back of the net. I’m obviously really pleased!
‘In training the past couple of weeks Willy Caballero’s been giving me a bit because I’ve skied a few! I just wanted to concentrate on trying to keep it down and hitting the target.’
That he did, and how. It was Tomori’s first attempt in the Premier League and it yielded a sensational first goal for the Canada-born 21-year-old, kickstarting a remarkable 5-2 victory against a side who hadn’t lost at home since the second day of 2019.
‘Winning games breeds confidence and keeps the team happy. At times we have played well in patches but not managed to see the whole game through.
‘We managed to play better in longer spells. We know clean sheets will come. We defended a lot better as a team. We didn’t really concede any sloppy chances.
‘Obviously we are disappointed to have conceded two goals, but we try to think positive, the manager tries to keep us positive in training and off the pitch, in meetings.
‘He’s a legend at the club so he has the respect of the players already,’ continued Tomori.
‘His management skills are very good. I had him last year and he’s a very good talker, a very good man-manager, and you can see we want to play for him, want to win games and implement his style of play. We’re working hard day in, day out to try and do that.’
After yesterday’s game Lampard praised Tomori, as well as Tammy Abraham and Mount, our other goalscorers in the Black Country. The recent success of Academy players hasn’t been lost on Tomori, who also had words of praise for our hat-trick hero at Molineux.
‘It’s really important to show it can be done. We saw it last year with Ethan, Ruben and Callum, and now Tammy, Mason and I. We are scoring goals and playing well, and getting an opportunity to play every week. We just want to take our chances, for ourselves, the club, the manager and our team-mates. We’re enjoying it.
‘I’m really pleased for Tammy,’ added Tomori.
‘He worked so hard and he deserves it. You can see how much it meant to him. I have been a team-mate of his since we were seven years old, going through the ranks together, playing in the Championship together, and now playing in the Chelsea team together. He can hold the ball up, link up the play and score goals. He’s a dream to play with.’
Next on the agenda is the visit of Valencia as the Champions League returns to Stamford Bridge, and Tomori is looking forward to his first taste of European football in the months ahead.
‘Any win gives a team confidence. Going into the Champions League it’s nice to have these three points in our back pocket. Hopefully we can produce a similar performance on Tuesday.
‘We know what’s coming and hopefully we can produce. Valencia are a top team in Spain and they have a lot of technical players. Ajax we saw last year are a very good team. Lille came second in Ligue 1 and are a very good team. We will have to be on top of our game to progress.’