Lampard pleased with side’s progress

Lampard pleased with side’s progress

LONDON • Despite coronavirus-hit Kai Havertz’s last-minute pullout from Chelsea’s squad to face Rennes, Frank Lampard’s side showed no signs of distraction on Wednesday, running out 3-0 winners over the 10-man Ligue 1 side at Stamford Bridge.

The Champions League victory, extending their unbeaten run in all competitions to seven games, also reaffirmed the Blues manager’s belief that his side are making steady progress following their £200 million-plus (S$353.6 million) outlay on transfers in the summer.

Timo Werner converted two spot kicks, while Tammy Abraham also scored, with all goals coming after Brazilian defender Dalbert was dismissed for two bookable offences in the first half.

“It shows the work we’re doing and direction we’re going. We did the right things in every aspect – started well, got our goals, saw the game out and had the chance to give others minutes later on,” Lampard, whose side are level with Sevilla on seven points but top Group E on goal difference, told reporters.

“The professional elements of our game were good against good opposition. We couldn’t underestimate them and we saw when it was 11 v 11 that they’re a physical, technical team but we won pretty well.”

It was the hosts’ fifth successive clean sheet, the first time they have managed the feat since 2010 and the defensive issues that were evident in the first few weeks of the term have all but disappeared.

“I’m pleased because it’s work, it’s the team, it’s players that are in there confident and fit,” Lampard added.

On Havertz, Lampard said the £71 million midfielder would miss tomorrow’s Premier League home game with Sheffield United and would also be a scratch for Germany’s upcoming international matches.

“It showed up in the Uefa testing on Monday. We retested yesterday when we found out,” he said. “Clearly, everyone else in the squad is negative, so that is a good sign. I’ve spoke to Kai a couple of times since we found out.

“He’s trying to do all the right things. It’s just one of those things in the modern day with where we’re at. Hopefully, he isolates, does the right things and comes back firing.”

REUTERS