Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard has sympathised with Gary Cahill after the Crystal Palace defender suffered an unfortunate injury which led to the opening goal for the visitors at the Selhurst Park on Tuesday. Lampard also said that he was not overly pleased with his team’s 3-2 victory.
“For sure I have sympathy, because I know Gary, we are friends, and you could see straightaway that it was a bad injury the way he went down,” said Lampard as quoted on the official website of Chelsea FC.
Chelsea’s opening goal – scored by Olivier Giroud – had caused dismay among the Crystal players who expected the Blues to show a sporting spirit to their former captain and not take the goal. But nothing of that sort happened as the Londoners celebrated their breakthrough in the sixth minute.
“But then we had to play on and finish the action, no one is kicking the ball out in that situation. It is not one of those but you obviously feel sorry for Gary on an individual note. I know for head injuries the game would always stop but for injuries like that it doesn’t stop. That is pretty clear,” Lampard explained.
The Chelsea boss, meanwhile, heaped praises on Christian Pulisic who had taken his team 2-0 up. The 21-year-old American, who has been touted as Eden Hazard’s replacement in the Stamford Bridge, launched a powerful strike off the inside of the near post to take Chelsea 2-0 up and continue his brilliant form since the resumption of English top-flight football.
“Christian is hugely important,” said Lampard. “He has great talent, we know that. At the start he came here in difficult conditions in terms of him not really having had a break, but he started to play really well and now he has moved his game on another level, not just in how he is going by people but there is real end-product. You look at the top attacking players in the world and they score goals and make assists regularly that win games and at the moment he is doing that, so I am delighted with him.”
However, Lampard did not sound very pleased with the overall performance. At a time when the game seemed perfectly titled in Chelsea’s favour, they conceded and put themselves in threatening positions from where points could have been lost.
The questions that were raised during their 2-3 defeat against West Ham United were also thrown by Crystal Palace. The Chelsea defense looked vulnerable as usual in front of a determined attack and had it not been for an inch-perfect tackle of Benteke from Kurt Zouma, the west London team would have returned with just a point.
“But the first 60 minutes today wasn’t that great. We weren’t as slick with the ball as we have been in other games and we held on to the ball a little bit. I thought Billy Gilmour did pretty well but I was not overly delighted with the midfield today,” Lampard said.
“We should have had the game under much more control at that point,’ said Chelsea’s highest-ever goal scorer. ‘At 2-0 we should have carried on and controlled the game better, and then at 3-2 we had a lot of chances in the second half, chances to finish it off – slightly wrong decisions may be on the final pass or shot and that invites pressure. Kepa made a great save and Kurt Zouma made a great tackle and in those last moments it was nerve-wracking for us.”