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Lampard shows ruthless streak by hauling off Chelsea youngsters




Leicester (UK), June 29, 2020 Chelsea manager Frank Lampard showed his ruthless side as he hauled off three of his brightest young players at half-time in Sunday’s 1-0 English FA Cup quarter-final win over Leicester City.

Lampard was clearly unhappy with what he witnessed in the opening 45 minutes and admitted he could have substituted seven or eight of his players at the interval.

As it was, Mason Mount, Billy Gilmour and Reece James made way for the vastly more-experienced trio of Ross Barkley, Mateo Kovacic and Cesar Azpilicueta and the difference soon became clear.

Barkley struck the game’s only goal in the 63rd minute, ghosting on to Willian’s cross to steer a shot home.

Lampard’s trust in youth has been an impressive part of his first season since returning as manager to Stamford Bridge.

But Chelsea’s record scorer is not afraid to hand out some tough love when required, as it was on Sunday at the King Power Stadium.

“We haven’t played that badly since I’ve been back. We were fortunate at half-time that it was 0-0,” he said.

“The first rules of football are urgency and sprinting back and if you don’t do that you can’t compete.

“Our game needs to be brighter than that. In the second half there were glimpses of it, but we can’t turn up like that again. We got lucky today.”

Lampard said his young players would “take it on the chin”.

“It is a learning experience. I could have taken more off, or other players off. I am not pulling those out on their own. They will be top players for this club and have top careers,” he added.

“But, if I have to do something in games, I will do it. It was one of those games where I had to do something.”

Chelsea have won all three of their games since the restart of the season, twice in the English Premier League (EPL) to cement themselves in the top four.

They can now look ahead to a Cup semi-final against Manchester United.



Edited By: Olawale Alabi) (NAN)

Olawale Alabi: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]


Lampard wants ‘collective sit-down’ over VAR controversies



Apart from Liverpool wrapping up the Premier League title, the only other inevitability about the restart of the season has been VAR controversy, and this week has provided it in spades.


West Ham United Manager,Davis Moyes, was “spewing” after Tomas Soucek’s strike was chalked off for an offside decision that took close to four minutes for VAR to sort out.

A day later, it was Jose Mourinho’s turn to look flabbergasted after Harry Kane’s equaliser at Sheffield United was wiped off as VAR official, Michael Oliver, decided that Lucas Moura’s arm had made contact with the ball in the build-up.

Brazilian Moura had actually been fouled, and was sliding headlong across the turf when a Sheffield United defender blasted the ball against him from point-blank range, the ball then spinning to Kane who shot home.

Sheffield United Manager, Chris Wilder, who has had plenty of grievances with VAR this season, including a disallowed goal at Tottenham, sympathised, calling the decision a farce.

Former Liverpool and Tottenham player, Jamie Redknapp, working as a Sky Sports pundit, said it was the worst decision he had ever seen and that common sense had gone out the window.

The forensic use of VAR to apply current offside and handball laws has been the biggest gripe.

“We need a reflection at the end of the season, a collective sit-down managers, players, referees, anyone who loves the game  to have an input and get it closer to where we want it to,” Chelsea boss Frank Lampard said on Friday.

Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti agreed that it was as much a case about the rules as VAR.

“It was a really complicated and difficult decision, but the decision they made comes from the rules that are in place at the moment.

 “Maybe at the end of season we can think about changing this kind of rule,” he said of Tottenham’s disallowed goal.

Leicester City’s Brendan Rodgers also called for common sense to be applied. “It’s becoming very forensic and we are starting to lose the spirit of our game,” he said.

Crystal Palace Manager, Roy Hodgson, said both Soucek and Kane’s disallowed goals had been hard to understand.

“VAR has had a very bad week,” he said.

Former Premier League referee Peter Walton said Tottenham’s disallowed goal stemmed from a rule change brought in after they benefited in last year’s Champions League quarter-final when Fernando Llorente’s tie-winning goal was allowed despite the ball brushing his arm.

Soccer law-makers IFAB subsequently changed the handball law to say that if the ball strikes a player’s hand, elbow or arm accidentally or otherwise  in the build-up to a goal it will be ruled out.

“This match may prompt IFAB to look again at how handballs are penalised.

“But by the letter of the law as it is written, Tottenham can have no complaints,” Walton wrote in The Times.

Edited By: Folorunso Poroye/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Lampard bemoans Chelsea’s injury crisis ahead of FA Cup tie against Liverpool



NNN: Chelsea’s progress has been severely dented this season due to a number of injury setbacks, manager Frank Lampard said on Monday.

Lampard said several senior players would be unavailable for Tuesday’s FA Cup fifth round clash with Liverpool as a result of this.

Players such as influential midfielder N’Golo Kante have had a stop-start campaign while others like Antonio Rudiger have either returned from injury recently or been sidelined like winger Christian Pulisic.

“There were a few (injuries) overlapping from last year, which were huge: N’Golo Kante, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Antonio Rudiger.

“It’s been an issue and now we have another bulk,” Lampard told reporters when asked why Chelsea have struggled.

“There are no fresh returns from the injury list. Andreas Christensen has got a small issue which we are going to give another 24 hours, but probably puts him in out of the game.

“Other than that we have no Tammy Abraham, no Pulisic, no Hudson-Odoi and no Kante.”

Abraham, who is the club’s leading goal scorer this season with 15 goals in all competitions, suffered an ankle injury, with Lampard having no update on his return to the side.

“(Abraham) went to Barcelona to get another set of eyes on it,” Lampard added. “He came back relatively positive.

“Unfortunately, he’s a bit unwell at the moment. So, he’s been off for a couple of days with a bit of a bug. There’s no update, no idea when he’ll be back.

“Christian has had a big phase out and is desperate to get back. When (they can return) I’m not giving an answer… I can’t see the answer.

“I’m hoping they might be fit over the next week or two, I just can’t say it with clarity.”

English Premier League (EPL) leaders Liverpool lost their first league game of the season at Watford over the weekend.

Even though Lampard believes it proved they were vulnerable, he said they have still had an “incredible season”.

“They’ve become relatively human. But it’s one game,” Lampard said. “They’re a strong team and they’ve been out on their own this season.

“We will have to be at our best. I don’t mind playing midweek. The FA Cup is a huge competition. Evening games bring a different atmosphere and playing Liverpool is always big for us.”


Edited By: Olawale Alabi)


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Arteta, Lampard evasive on transfers ahead of Arsenal-Chelsea derby



Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta kept his transfer cards close to his chest on Monday, saying the club was not close to signing new players in the January transfer window.

The north London side has been linked with Paris St-Germain (PSG) left-back Layvin Kurzawa in the past week.

But Arteta said there was “a possibility” that the club could go without signing anyone in this window.

“Things have not moved at all since the weekend.

“There is nothing new to say about any deals or players. When we have more info, we will let you know.

“The players we want to bring in have to be players who are going to help us and make a difference in the squad.

“It is not for the sake of just bringing in players,” Arteta told reporters when asked about potential transfers.

Arsenal, 10th, have won only one Premier League game in six since Arteta took charge while four draws have seen the north London side fall further away from the top four.

But the Spaniard is positive his squad is slowly imbibing his philosophy.

“A lot of things have happened and it feels longer than a month.

“Yes, a lot of things changed, a lot of positives in terms of reactions and the things they are taking on board.

“In terms of results it could have been a little bit different. I think we have been very unlucky and other aspects have influenced that.The feedback I am getting is very positive.

“When we don’t win they know the reasons why,” Arteta added ahead of Tuesday’s trip to Chelsea.

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard, meanwhile, said there was “nothing imminent” with respect to bringing in new players this month.

But he did not brush aside rumours linking PSG striker Edinson Cavani with the London outfit.

The French side’s sporting director, Leonardo Araujo, revealed on Sunday that Cavani, who lost his place in the starting line-up to Mauro Icardi, had asked to leave the Ligue 1 club.

“He is a great player. I played against him and I always loved his mentality and his attitude.

“His goal-scoring record speaks for itself.

“I am not absolutely aware of what the situation is. So, we will see.

“He is an experienced player, but so are many other players out there.

“We are young as a squad. So, the idea of bringing in experience is not something I am looking away from. Sometimes the younger players need a bit of help,” Lampard said.

(Edited by: Olawale Alabi)

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Lampard opens door for Giroud to leave Chelsea



Chelsea manager Frank Lampard said Olivier Giroud could leave Stamford Bridge this month, with Serie A leaders Inter Milan reported to be in pole position to sign the French striker.

Sky Sports reported on Friday that France’s World Cup winner Giroud, whose Chelsea contract expires at the end of the season, has agreed a 2-1/2 year deal to join the Italian club.

Lampard, whose side are fourth in the Premier League, said Giroud’s departure is not necessarily linked to Chelsea signing a replacement and the player would only leave if the deal suits all parties involved.

“With Oli the situation is if it’s right for everybody and first and foremost that’s the club because he’s under contract and then we will look at whether he can leave.

“He’s been a great professional here and trained brilliantly even without getting the opportunities.

“I hold him in high regard but I still have to make a decision for the club and nothing’s done yet.

“Everyone’s talking about it so I am not going to beat around the bush; I think his agent has spoken to the club.

“But until we decide it’s the right thing then it’s not done,”Lampard told reporters ahead of Chelsea’s Premier League match against Burnley on Saturday.

Giroud has not played for Chelsea since the end of the November, with Tammy Abraham cementing his place as the club’s first-choice striker since Lampard’s arrival.

Abraham has scored 12 league goals this season and been in Gareth Southgate’s last two England squads.

He scored his first England goal against Montenegro in November and is likely to get another chance to impress against Italy and Denmark in March, with captain Harry Kane ruled out with a hamstring injury.

“Well first of all with Harry Kane, it’s not nice to hear even though it’s a competitor within the league of an injury to a player.

“Tammy’s got himself into regular squads with the goal-scoring that he’s done with us.

“I am delighted with his progression. For me, yes he can play at the very highest level but he’s still in those early stages,”Lampard said.

Chelsea will be aiming to consolidate their place in the top four when they face Burnley following home defeats by Bournemouth and Southampton last month.

Lampard ruled out forward Christian Pulisic for a “few weeks” after the United States international suffered an adductor injury in training.

Edited by: Maharazu Ahmed

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Lampard happy, but wants more from Chelsea



Frank Lampard said he was happy but wants more from his Chelsea side after they got back to winning ways with a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa on Wednesday to consolidate fourth spot in the Premier League.

Back-to-back defeats by Manchester City and West Ham United had followed six straight league wins, but the return of striker Tammy Abraham proved crucial against Villa.

He headed the opening goal for his 11th of the season and set up the winner for Mason Mount with a neat chest-off three minutes after the break.

Lampard, Chelsea’s record scorer who won three Premier League titles during his playing career at Stamford Bridge, said his side should have won more easily.

“I am happy but I want more,” Lampard, whose side are six points clear of fifth-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers, told reporters.

“We have had a pretty good start because most people probably expected us otherwise.

“But I want more all the time and I think that the last week has been a good example of that for us.

“I saw us go to Manchester City and trade with them like a big team who was in and around that level, then at West Ham we were not. Today we recovered.

“That shows me where we are to have a real potential to getting where we want to be, but also aware of the little tough bumps in the road,” he said.

Lampard was full of praise for Abraham, who looked sharp after returning from a hip injury and N’golo Kante who was a commanding presence in midfield.

“Today (Abraham) came back straight in where he left off,” Lampard said. (Kante’) ability to win the ball, the high intensity to lead into areas and win it back, it’s why he has this tag of being one of the outstanding players in world. It’s a pleasure to have him in my squad,” he said.

There was also a word on former Chelsea skipper and team mate John Terry, who was back in front of his beloved fans in his capacity as assistant to Villa manager Dean Smith.

“He had his moment on the pitch. It is difficult when you come back, I did it last year, to a club that you feel so much for and vice-versa as they did with John.

“You are working and part of another team, another club and he is respectful of Aston Villa, I know that. It wasn’t a massive celebration time but the respect both ways is huge,” he said.

(Edited & Vetted By: Mufutau Ojo)

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Hazard praises Lampard’s early managerial success at Chelsea




Eden Hazard believes former Chelsea team mate Frank Lampard has the platform to become the one of the best managers in the world after a bright start to his reign at Stamford Bridge.

Hazard left Chelsea to join Spanish giants Real Madrid at the start of the season, just before Lampard replaced Maurizio Sarri as manager at the west London club.

Lampard has steadied the ship at Chelsea after a difficult start, guiding them to six consecutive Premier League victories and level on points with second-placed Leicester City heading into the international break.

When asked if he was surprised by Lampard’s instant impact at Chelsea, Hazard told reporters: “No, not at all.

“I know Frank as a player, not as a manager, but he’s a great guy. He’s showed already after four months that he can be one of the best managers in the world.

“The good thing is that they are playing with young players, young English players. For England it’s good, for Chelsea it’s good. They are lucky to have young players with quality.”

Lampard was handed a squad with a two-window transfer ban, leading to more opportunities to English youngsters such as Mason Mount, Fikayo Tomori, Reece James and Tammy Abraham – Chelsea’s top scorer in the league with 10 goals this season.

“I don’t know (if the transfer ban has actually been good for Chelsea),” Hazard added. “Maybe with two or three more players, they would be first.”

Edited by Emmanuel Okara/Maharazu Ahmed

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Lampard earns first win as Chelsea boss at Norwich City



Frank Lampard celebrated his first victory as Chelsea manager with Tammy Abraham’s double, inspiring their 3-2 win over Norwich City in a pulsating Premier League encounter at Carrow Road on Saturday.

The 21-year-old Abraham struck on the half-volley in the third minute and, after a see-saw contest in which Norwich twice fought back from a goal down, he proved the match-winner with another superb strike in the 68th minute.

Teemu Pukki continued his dazzling start to the season by netting a league-leading fifth goal for the Canaries.

However, it was to prove in vain as the victory provided much-needed relief for Lampard, one of Chelsea’s greatest players.

Lampard finally got off the mark at the fourth attempt after a loss at Manchester United, defeat to Liverpool in the UEFA Super Cup and a draw with Leicester City.

Chelsea took the lead early when an overlapping Cesar Azpilicueta drifted a perfect cross from the right to the feet of the unmarked Abraham, who slotted the ball past goalkeeper Tim Krul.

Norwich struck back quickly, with Emiliano Buendia finding Pukki, who squared from near the left post for 21-year-old midfielder Todd Cantwell to score from close range.

Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount made it 2-1 with a fine 17th-minute goal.

But 13 minutes later, Buendia’s fine through ball put in the prolific Finn Pukki, who beat Kepa Arrizabalaga from a tight angle despite the Chelsea keeper getting a hand to the ball.

Chelsea looked more assured after the break and their pressure told.

Edited by Silas Nwoha

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Ndidi stars as Leicester City hold Chelsea 1-1 in Lampard’s first home match





London, Aug. 18, 2019 Chelsea manager Frank Lampard had to settle for a 1-1 draw against Leicester City in his first home match in charge on Sunday.

A second-half header by Wilfred Ndidi cancelled out Mason Mount’s early goal on Lampard’s home debut.

Chelsea raced into a quick lead when the 20-year-old player stole the ball from a dallying Ndidi and left Kasper Schmeichel with no chance with his shot in the seventh minute.

The goal capped an opening onslaught by the new-look Blues who were roared on by the home fans excited at the return of Chelsea’s all-time top scorer Lampard as manager.

But Leicester grew into the game and equalised in the 67th minute when Ndidi atoned for his first-half error by heading home a James Maddison corner.

Edited by Donald Ugwu

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Lampard has faith in Chelsea youngsters




Frank Lampard says he will have no fear giving his Chelsea youngsters their chance to make an impact at Stamford Bridge this season.

Chelsea’s all-time record goalscorer begins his managerial reign at the club on Sunday away to Manchester United in the English Premier League (EPL).

It would be no surprise if his team includes youngsters like Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori and Mason Mount.

While Chelsea’s transfer ban and the departure of Eden Hazard to Real Madrid means Lampard’s task is a sizeable one, the former midfielder has belief.

He believes it is an opportunity for the club to push through youth.

Midfielder Mount, 20, striker Abraham, 21, and defender Tomori, also 21, were all on loan at Championship club Derby County last season when Lampard cut his teeth in management.

He almost got the Rams promoted.

Had Chelsea been able to make new signings, the chances are they may have been farmed out again.

Instead, the ones available are now integral to Lampard’s plans.

“Last year was a great experience working with them, because they are hungry. They want to learn, they ask questions on the training pitch and I love that,” Lampard said.

“I understand the position we are in with the ban. It brings up different possibilities, albeit it’s tough in a way.

“It’s also an opportunity for the young lads, to prove that they are good enough to get into the first team.

“I want to be competitive and want us to win. So, it won’t be all about how many young players I can get in the team.

“But, if they show themselves in training, I will have no fear in putting them in.”

While expectation levels at Chelsea are lower this year, Lampard says the target is still to challenge for the title.

Finishing in the top four again would be seen as success for his first season in charge.

“It’s a hard one,” he said. “Chelsea are normally in the title race to some degree.

“It’s getting harder, particularly with the standards set by (Manchester) City and Liverpool last year. We understand there is a gap to the rest of us.

“But I can’t start a season at Chelsea saying `I don’t want to win the league’. We have to have that mindset.

“We have to have that mentality and we’ll do our best to be right up there.”

The sale of centre-back David Luiz to Arsenal on Thursday also opens up possibilities for other players, Lampard said.

“He was a great servant for the club,” added the 41-year-old, who was a team mate of Luiz when they won the UEFA Champions League in 2012.

“But I have got confidence in the players we have. We are well stocked in that area.

“We have internationals like (Antonio) Rudiger, (Kurt) Zouma, (Andreas) Christensen. We wish David all the best, even though he went to Arsenal.

“We’ll concentrate on ourselves and let’s see some of those players who haven’t had as much game time as they want but who are now relatively experienced players show what they can do.”(Reuters/NAN)


(Edited by Olawale Alabi)

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