Frank Lampard acknowledged that Chelsea were far from their fluid best in Monday night’s 3-1 win over Brighton, but took just as much pleasure from the match for his team’s diligent defensive performance.
At times last season the Blues were perceived as being too brittle and needing a little more industry to go with the flair and talent in the team.
While no new defensive additions were on show here, Lampard felt the side as a whole were industrious and conscientious about their off-the-ball work, allowing them to see out the game with three points despite long spells of Brighton possession and a few good chances for the home side.
“I really liked the work ethic and discipline of the team,” Lampard said to Sky Sports.
“We’ve been together as a team for four days, with new signings and quarantines before that, so to expect everything to click on day one is very difficult, but there was great determination.
“We might have dropped points in this [type of game] last year; we won’t get over-excited but it had resilience about it, I thought.”
Regarding his new arrivals, Kai Havertz and Timo Werner, Lampard was again full of praise more for movement than on-the-ball moments.
“[Havertz] plays at such a pace, we saw the quality a few glimpses and also saw him sprint back 80 yards to make a defensive tackle after giving the ball away. We saw glimpses and we’ll see a lot more of a hugely talented young player.
“I love the way Timo pops up in different areas, he can start in deeper areas but then when he goes, he goes. He has a hunger to score goals and we saw what Timo will bring.”
Chelsea are next in action on Sunday, when they face league champions Liverpool.
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