After losing four out of five in the Premier League, Chelsea turned in a performance of the highest quality, as they say on Football Manager, and beat Mourinho's Spurs 2-0 at their actual home stadium for the first time since 2012 (4-2 win in October 2012). It was an impressive result, and one that Lampard considers our best so far this season.
“I think it was [our best performance of the season].
“The Ajax away game was a different type of game that we dealt with brilliantly on the night. Going to Tottenham in good form, direct rival, ourselves under slight pressure because of recent form, the character, the strength, the fight in the team on top of the way we approached the game and controlled it from start to finish, makes it our best performance.”
Lampard asked for a reaction after the shocking defeat the weekend before to Bournemouth at home, and a reaction was precisely what he got. All his players, both young and old, responded perfectly, repaying his faith in many instances.
"I hope the win helps the whole squad, and the younger players in particular. Some were in the Championship last year, some are getting new tests they’ve never had before this season, but some have been here before, beaten top-six teams and won championships over the years. There is a little bit of a mixture, but as a group we are quite fresh and a little bit transitional this year, and hopefully it sends a little statement to ourselves. I don’t mind how everyone outside reacts about it, but for ourselves it should give us confidence. I wasn’t of the belief they couldn’t give a reaction. I believe in these players, and the young players.”
That may be less surprising from proven winners like Willian or César Azpilicueta, but it’s one of the big questions that is constantly asked from the younger ones, like Fikayo Tomori or Mason Mount. The latter has especially come under recent criticism, but has one again showed that his minutes are the result of much more than just favoritism from the manager.
“Mason Mount’s performance, not just to isolate Mason because Tammy and Tomori were fantastic, but his performance against Tottenham was a great example of why you want to stick with and have patience with these young players. He’s a young boy, there will be moments when a game will be difficult for him, and he’ll learn in the next one and better, and there will be games like the one on Sunday where you see the player he is.
“If we’re not patient and we don’t stick with the players then you might be in a situation where we have been before, where top world-class players have been at Chelsea when they were 20 or 21, but the managers maybe didn’t stick with them so much then. I’m in a position where I’m going to stick with them.”
As uplifting as that result was, we need to move on to the next game, which will present an entirely different challenge. Chelsea have struggled to break down visiting teams at Stamford Bridge, and will need to find that cutting edge on Thursday as well.
“The points on offer over this busy period when they come thick and fast are important to us, we know that, so we’ll do everything right in our preparation. We need to, particularly on the back of the few games before Tottenham, show another side to our game. Can we get our home form where we want it to be against Southampton?”
-Frank Lampard; source: Chelsea FC
Yes, we can.