Chelsea can still get better Frank Lampard insists, despite the Blues boss guiding his side to the top of the Premier League.
The west Londoners on Saturday lunchtime strolled past Newcastle, winning 2-0 at historic bogey ground St James’ Park to move (temporarily, at least) into first place.
It was a good day for Frank Lampard as he guided Chelsea into top spot with a defeat of NewcastleGetty Images – Getty
A Federico Fernandez own-goal opened the scoring and Tammy Abraham netted his third of the season in the second half to wrap up all three points, as the Blues never got out of second gear.
But they didn’t need to play better to beat a limp and listless Magpies outfit, who will consider themselves lucky to avoided a more embarrassing scoreline.
Hakim Ziyech, Mason Mount and Olivier Giroud really should have all hit the back of the net, but Timo Werner was the main guilty party when it came to wasting opportunities.
The Germany forward did set up Abraham’s goal with a fine solo run, but on so many occasions he fluffed his lines in the final third with the goal gaping.
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And Lampard, while pleased with his players converting enough chances to secure the points, insists there is still a way to go before Chelsea are playing to the standard they should be.
“We looked at the idea of recruiting through the long season last year,” Lampard told talkSPORT. “With the [transfer] ban we had time to look at it and I know that players of that level in attacking areas – Timo, Kai [Havertz] , Hakim Ziyech has come in and been important for us – can add to teams.
“Last year we had the thing of 18 shots and don’t score and lose the game.
“Today we come here, get our goals and win the game.
Abraham netted in the second half after a fine run from Timo WernerGetty Images – Getty
“But it’s always a team effort and I’m happy with where we are at the moment – but there is room for improvement still.”
Despite Lampard urging continued improvement, his side are now top of the Premier League with 22 goals scored in only nine games, while they also have seven clean sheets in their past nine matches in all competitions..
This defensive turnaround – from incredibly leaky at the start of the season to defensively sound after only a few months – does please the Blues boss.
He added: “You have to work to solve problems and issues, and the players on the pitch are working to do that.
Chelsea kept another clean sheet despite Thiago Silva not playing on TynesideGetty Images – Getty
“It’s great for their confidence; you can see the smiles on their faces, particularly at the back end of the pitch when they get their clean sheets.
“And it isn’t easy to do that here. They had to work hard for it, especially with the physical play of Newcastle at times.
“And I was pleased with the players’ reaction.”