It was all doom and gloom after Chelsea succumbed to an embarrassing 3-0 defeat to Sheffield United on Saturday at such a crucial juncture of the season. But Bournemouth brought light back into the world by beating Leicester City 4-1, courtesy of a brace by former Chelsea youngster Dominic Solanke, keeping Chelsea third — at least until Manchester United play tonight.
Chelsea thus remain firmly in control of our top four destiny, though still without N’Golo Kanté.
"Kante’s not fit. He has a chance for the semi-final on Sunday.
"Andreas Christensen had to come off at half-time [at Sheffield United] with an injury, but he’s back in the squad. The rest is as we were."
While Norwich City have been relegated already and are the easiest opposition left on paper, with games against Liverpool and Wolves also remaining, Lampard expects them to be like a wounded animal that would love to finish the season on a high note before going down to the Championship.
Chelsea have often been unable to kill off games against “easier” opposition, which could easily make this a potential trap game in our quest for a Champions League spot.
"If you don’t turn up or don’t perform it doesn’t matter what momentum you feel you have, but having good home form recently is good for confidence. We have to carry on from the Watford game in particular.
"We have to treat Norwich with utmost respect. They have quality players; a lot of games I have seen them this season they have been unfortunate not to get results. That’s the nature of the Premier League, but we are expecting a very tough game."
Earlier today, Manchester City's two-year ban from European football, imposed by UEFA after FFP violations, was lifted by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on appeal.
This means that fifth place in the league is no longer enough to qualify for the Championship League. Chelsea must finish in the top four. But as long as we take care of our own results, that will be achieved.
"I was pretty neutral on it, I don’t know much about the case, any of the details. I just listened to the result as everyone else did this morning.
"I don’t see beyond the games ahead. We want to win them and see if it gets us Champions League football for next season. I was never pinning my hopes on it meaning another team getting in. We worry about ourselves.
"My only concern is the games ahead. We’re at a critical stage of the season. Norwich tomorrow, then Liverpool and Wolves in the league. We know what’s in front us. We know the capability we have in the squad. We have shown this season at lots of different points the reason why we’ve got into third. Now we need to try to finish the job."
-Frank Lampard; source: Chelsea FC