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Lampard explains why Werner was unable to participate in penalty shootout against Spurs

Probably would’ve taken one

Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea - Carabao Cup Fourth Round Photo by Matt Dunham - Pool/Getty Images

Frank Lampard had Timo Werner penciled in as one of his five chosen penalty takers in the decisive shootout against Spurs last night, but unfortunately the Chelsea striker was physically unable to partake.

Seen getting some treatment on the sidelines after the final whistle, the striker who had scored Chelsea’s only goal in the game — his first official goal for the club! — turns out to have been suffering from a cramp. As anyone who’s ever had a cramp can tell you, they can be rather painful and their effects can linger for quite some time.

While Werner probably could’ve taken a kick from the spot if forced to eventually, he wasn’t exactly in prime condition to do so — in fact, he looked absolutely knackered halfway through the second half already, and it was surprising that Lampard had kept him on the entire match (especially as he was forced to play quite a bit of defense towards the end, including on Spurs’ equalizer).

“We spoke to the players. You work on penalties and try and have a plan but it’s very difficult to know. Timo had some cramp at the end and Timo would have probably taken one so we had to adjust around that.”

-Frank Lampard; source: Metro

It’s unclear who of the five Chelsea takers would’ve missed out in favor of Werner — we shouldn’t assume it would’ve been Mount just because he went last. Chelsea’s last penalty shootout was in the UEFA Super Cup last season, when Abraham missed the decisive kick, and the only difference that day in the quintet was Barkley instead of Azpilicueta. But Azpi’s taken penalties for Chelsea before as well, including in the Europa League semifinals against Eintracht Frankfurt a couple years ago.

In any case, hopefully the cramp for Werner doesn’t turn into something more problematic. It, like Jorginho’s cramp the other day, underlines the lack of a proper preseason, but also the need for good (better) minutes- and workload-management from Lampard.

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