Chelsea Beat Tottenham In Top Four Chase

Chelsea’s Spanish defender Marcos Alonso celebrates with teammates after he scores his team’s second goal during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge in London on February 22 2020.
Ian KINGTON / AFP

 

Olivier Giroud and Marcos Alonso came in from the cold to inspire Chelsea’s 2-1 win against Tottenham as the Blues cemented their grip on fourth place in the Premier League on Saturday.

Giroud and Alonso had been reduced to fringe figures in Frank Lampard’s first season as Chelsea manager.

But Lampard restored both veterans to the team at Stamford Bridge in a gamble that paid rich dividends.

With Tammy Abraham only fit enough to make the bench, Giroud started for the first time since November and the France striker’s fine finish opened the scoring in the first half.

READ ALSO: Lewandowski Double Edges Bayern Past Bottom Side Paderborn

The 33-year-old could have joined Tottenham had Chelsea signed a forward in January, but instead he netted his first club goal since August and his first in the Premier League since April.

Alonso, 29, maintained the theme of exiles getting back in favour as the left-back struck in the second half of his first league start since Chelsea’s win at Tottenham in December.

Antonio Rudiger’s own goal came too late to ruin Chelsea’s first win in five league games, moving them four points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham in the race to qualify for the Champions League.

Ending Tottenham’s three-game winning streak in the league was the perfect response to Monday’s home defeat against Manchester United.

It was no more than they deserved after a vibrant performance that finally answered Lampard’s call for a killer instinct in the final third.

Tottenham have now won just once in their last 34 visits to Stamford Bridge, making it a painful return for their former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, who was beaten by Lampard for the second time this term.

Mourinho had ramped up the mind games on Friday when he claimed to know Lampard was planning to use the same five-man defence that helped the Blues win at Tottenham earlier this season.

Mourinho was spot on, with Lampard making four changes in a return to the system he predicted, but he could not come up with an effective solution.

Lucas Moura and Steven Bergwijn, more often used as wingers, led a makeshift Tottenham attack in the absence of Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Dele Alli, who was dropped after reacting angrily to his substitution in the midweek defeat against Leipzig.

Chelsea, pressing hard from the start, were always on top and when Alonso’s superb pass picked out Mason Mount, the young midfielder’s shot was pushed away by Hugo Lloris.

Toothless Tottenham

It was a warning Tottenham failed to heed and Giroud put Chelsea in front in the 15th minute.

Giroud had looked impressive in his substitute appearance against United.

And his physical style and clever movement were crucial to the goal as he held off Toby Alderweireld to reach Jorginho’s pass for a shot that Lloris saved with his foot.

The rebound fell to Ross Barkley but his scuffed effort in the post and cannoned back to Giroud, who lashed a blistering strike past Lloris at his near post.

Willy Caballero almost gifted Tottenham a goal out of nothing before the break.

Needlessly rushing off his line, Caballero completely missed the ball and Tottenham defender Japhet Tanganga prodded just wide.

Mourinho had been scribbling away in his notebook before the interval, but there was no discernable change in Tottenham’s toothless display as Alonso increased Chelsea’s lead in the 48th minute.

Giroud guided the ball into Mount’s path and he worked it to Barkley on the edge of the Tottenham area.

With the visitors backing off, Barkley picked out Alonso, who blasted into the far corner from 20 yards.

It could have been worse for Tottenham as Giovani Lo Celso was fortunate to escape a red card when he stamped on Cesar Azpilicueta.

Chelsea should have won by more and Alonso’s free-kick hit the bar before Rudiger deflected Erik Lamela’s shot into his own net in the 89th minute.

AFP

Brighton Deny Chelsea Vital Win In New Year Fixture

Brighton’s Iranian midfielder Alireza Jahanbakhsh celebrates after scoring during the English Premier League football match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Chelsea at the American Express Community Stadium in Brighton, southern England on January 1, 2020.
Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Alireza Jahanbakhsh’s spectacular overhead kick earned Brighton a share of the points against Chelsea and dampened Frank Lampard’s New Year celebrations on Wednesday as Aston Villa secured a vital win against Burnley.

Kicking off a packed day of top-flight action, Chelsea’s 1-1 draw on England’s south coast meant they missed out on the chance to pull seven points clear of fifth-placed Manchester United in the race to secure Champions League football for next season.

Cesar Azpilicueta gave the visitors an early lead, tapping in from close range following a corner in the 10th minute but Brighton were never out of it and pulled level in the 84th minute courtesy of Jahanbakhsh’s moment of magic.

Chelsea were quickly on top from the start of the match but Brighton came into the contest as it wore on, enjoying a spell of possession towards the end of the first half.

READ ALSO: Mane Set To Be Crowned King Of Africa As Troubles Rumble On

Leandro Trossard tested Kepa Arrizabalaga with a powerful strike but the Chelsea goalkeeper parried the shot with his right hand.

Lampard’s team were again dominant after the break. Christian Pulisic came close to doubling Chelsea’s lead at Brighton after 55 minutes while N’Golo Kante and Reece James were denied.

But Brighton kept battling and Kepa was forced to produce an outstanding save from Aaron Connolly in the 80th minute as the home side pushed for an equaliser.

Their persistence paid off minutes later. Lewis Dunk kept the ball alive from a corner-kick and Iranian midfielder Jahanbakhsh acrobatically found the bottom-left corner to give his team share of the points.

In the other early kick-off, Villa beat Burnley 2-1 despite seeing Jack Grealish’s opening goal controversially chalked off by VAR.

Wesley put Villa ahead in the 27th minute and captain Grealish doubled his side’s advantage four minutes before the break as his powerful effort found the top corner.

Chris Wood pulled a goal back for Burnley with 10 minutes to go.

Second-placed Leicester take on Newcastle later on Wednesday, with Tottenham and Wolves, also chasing Champions League football next season, also in action.

Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City are hosting Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton in one of the early evening matches before Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United kick off against Arsenal in the late match.

Runaway leaders Liverpool face Sheffield United on Thursday.

AFP

‘We Play Too Safe’, Lampard Lashes Chelsea After Shock Loss

Chelsea’s English head coach Frank Lampard gestures during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge in London on December 14, 2019.
OLLY GREENWOOD / AFP

 

Frank Lampard urged his Chelsea players to prove they have the courage to cope with adversity after Bournemouth snatched a shock 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Lampard’s side were beaten for the fourth time in their last five Premier League games as Dan Gosling netted a VAR-reviewed winner with just six minutes left.

It was a bitter blow for Lampard after Chelsea once again failed to deal with a team, intent on defending deep and attacking on the counter.

Not for the first time this season, the Blues dominated possession on home turf without showing the cutting edge needed to break down stubborn Bournemouth, who had arrived in freezing west London on a run of five consecutive defeats.

Lampard believes the root cause of Chelsea’s malaise is their inability to kill teams off, and he puts that down to a lack of conviction in the final third.

READ ALSO: Norwich End Leicester’s Nine-Game Winning Streak

Questioning the personality of a young team on the rocks for the first time following their fine start in his first season in charge, Lampard said: “Now we have the reality. If we are not at our best, if players can’t find the quality to beat teams that are organised then we have to find another way.

“We didn’t get the fans excited enough. If we play 10 balls across our back four that’s not surprising; if I’m a fan sitting there today I would say ‘too slow’. I don’t want to blame them for that.’

“Some responsibility is on the players to take the ball and have the balls to excite the fans.

“We have to have some personality. When a team wants to defend against you, that’s another test. We haven’t done well with that.”

Nerves And Stress

Chelsea have scored only 11 goals at home this season and Lampard acknowledged his players are struggling to deal with the pressure that mounts the longer a game goes without a goal for his team.

“With that comes nerves and stress in the team and the stadium. We need urgency in our play, transfer the ball quickly, gets at people, do things that are positive, don’t play safe, we generally play too safe during games,” he said.

“I don’t know about fear but in front of our home fans it’s evident we aren’t playing well enough. We aren’t taking our chances and we have given away some silly goals.”

Chelsea remain in fourth place despite their recent slump but they will have to improve dramatically to stay there.

With London derbies looming at Tottenham and Arsenal over the Christmas period, Lampard could be forgiven for giving his players an intensive training period in a bid to shake them out of their lethargy.

But the former Chelsea midfielder insisted he couldn’t fault their effort.

Asked how he would have responded to this kind of slump in his glittering playing career, Lampard said: “I don’t want to talk about my days. I’m not going to get the players in for training tomorrow and go over the video.

“I can’t find anyone wanting with how they apply themselves but what we do on the pitch is being found wanting at the moment.”

Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe hopes the result can rebuild his side’s confidence after a dismal stretch of one win in 10 games.

“We certainly needed it. A lot of soul searching has gone on. This was the best we’ve fought and competed,” Howe said after Gosling’s hooked effort survived a lengthy VAR check for offside.

“We needed a slice of luck, something to bounce our way. That could be the moment that turns our fortunes and gives us belief.”

AFP

Lampard Proud Of ‘Best Win’ As Chelsea Manager

 

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard hailed his side’s 1-0 victory at Ajax in the Champions League as his best yet in charge of the Blues.

Lampard made a telling impact with his substitutions at the Johan Cruyff Arena as Christian Pulisic set up Michy Batshuayi to score the winner four minutes from time.

After a difficult start to his first season in charge at Stamford Bridge, Lampard has now masterminded six straight wins in all competitions.

“It is (the best win),” the former England midfielder told BT Sport. “I’m so happy, I knew how tough this game would be.

“To play and beat them and deserve to beat them means we are absolutely top all over the pitch. I was so, so proud of the performance.”

READ ALSO: Batshuayi Fires Chelsea To Late Ajax Win

Victory in Amsterdam puts Chelsea level with last season’s Champions League semi-finalists on six points at the top of Group H and back on track to make the last 16 after a home defeat to Valencia on matchday one.

“It was very important after losing the first game against Valencia,” said Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta.

“We showed a great ability to control the game after the first 15-20 minutes.

“We had a lot of chances to win the game, we were brave, we pressed high and very happy to get a late goal from Michy.”

Batshuayi has had to be patient for his chance to shine under Lampard with Tammy Abraham’s fine form keeping the Belgian international on the sidelines.

Lampard introduced Batshuayi ahead of French international Olivier Giroud for the final 20 minutes and he had the desired effect by smashing in off the underside of the bar from Pulisic’s cut-back.

“The other two (Giroud and Batshuayi) stay patient, work hard, support the group and have talent. He’s waited for his moment and fully deserved it,” added Lampard.

Willian Grabs Chelsea Winner As Lampard Hails Impact Of Young Stars

 

Willian’s brilliant late strike gave Chelsea a precious 2-1 win away to Lille on Wednesday that they will hope kickstarts their Champions League campaign, but it was the young stars in Frank Lampard’s side who stole the show again.

The Brazilian volleyed home in the 78th minute to decide the game under the roof at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy on what was his 300th appearance for the club.

Tammy Abraham had earlier put Chelsea in front on his 22nd birthday with his eighth goal already this season, only for Victor Osimhen to equalise for Lille.

Chelsea are now off the mark in Group H after losing at home to Valencia a fortnight ago, although it is Ajax who continue to top the section with a maximum six points.

“Overall it was a good game. It’s never an easy place to play. Give it to the team, what a fantastic performance,” Abraham told BT Sport.

Lampard’s team face Ajax next and will do so with renewed belief after this victory.

“It is such a tough place — the roof was on, the crowd were up for it, the speed in their team and on the counter-attack especially was very evident, so we had to be ready for it and I thought our performance was really good,” said Lampard.

It was a game decided by one of the most experienced players on the pitch but which was bristling with exciting young talent as these clubs adjust to seeing their standout players — Eden Hazard on one side, Nicolas Pepe on the other — depart in the close season.

Lampard fielded two 24-year-olds as well as four more players aged 22 or under in his line-up here, as teenager Reece James started as a right wing-back in a 3-4-1-2 system.

James only made his top-team debut for the club a week ago in a League Cup tie against fourth-tier Grimsby Town. His second-half replacement, Callum Hudson-Odoi, set up the winner.

“This isn’t a game for niceties, we have to go and win these matches and improve all the time and there were loads of signs of team improvement tonight, and individuals,” Lampard added.

“The young players are responding and they have to keep doing it because the Champions League level is something else.”

Much has been made of Lampard’s promotion of youth this season in response to Chelsea’s transfer ban, although their team here also featured N’Golo Kante, with the France midfielder returning from his latest spell out.

Indeed, the average age of Chelsea’s team at kick-off was actually a year older than that of Lille.

Hudson-Odoi helps change game

Chelsea took a 22nd-minute lead when Fikayo Tomori’s ball into the box was not dealt with by the home defence, and Abraham — capped by England but eligible for Nigeria through his father — controlled and fire home.

Lille actually looked the better side going forward for long spells and Luiz Araujo was denied by a good Kepa Arrizabalaga save just after the half-hour.

Moments later they were level, Jonathan Bamba sending in a corner from the left for Osimhen, the gangly 20-year-old Nigerian striker signed in the summer, to head in his seventh of the campaign.

Jorginho struck the outside of the post with a first-time strike from range just before half-time, while Kepa tipped a Benjamin Andre header around the post early in the second half.

However, the introduction of Hudson-Odoi, the youngest of the lot at just 18, for James midway through the second half, and subsequent change of formation, breathed new life into the visitors.

Mason Mount was denied by Mike Maignan soon after, and just 12 minutes remained when winger Hudson-Odoi crossed from the left all the way to the back post where Willian connected with a volley that bounced down into the ground, over the goalkeeper’s head and in.

There was no way back for Lille, who have now failed to win any of their last 13 matches in Europe.

“They are used to playing matches like these every weekend, in Europe every season, and we saw the difference that exists between us,” said Lille coach Christophe Galtier.

Arsenal Out To Close Gap On Liverpool, Lampard Seeks First Win

L-R: Unai Emery, Jurgen Klopp, and Frank Lampard.   Photos: AFP

 

Early Premier League leaders Liverpool and Arsenal face-off, while Frank Lampard is under pressure to deliver his first win as Chelsea boss at Norwich on Saturday.

One of the only two remaining 100 percent records in the Premier League will go at Anfield where the European champions will hope to continue a fine recent record against the north Londoners.

Jurgen Klopp has never lost in seven previous Premier League meetings against Arsenal and his side have beaten the Gunners 4-0 and 5-1 at home in the past two seasons.

However, Unai Emery’s outfit are hoping a busy summer in the transfer window, while Liverpool did not strengthen, will have significantly narrowed the 27-point gap between the sides last season.

Emery could hand a first start to £72 million ($87 million) club-record signing Nicolas Pepe, while on-loan Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos earned rave reviews by creating both goals on his full debut against Burnley last weekend.

However, it is at the back Arsenal need a drastic improvement and there is an early opportunity for veteran centre-back David Luiz to make his mark by halting the free-scoring trio of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah, who combined for all five Liverpool goals when the sides last met.

“A lot of times in my life I had sensational players always (but) not world-class players,” Klopp told Liverpool’s website.

“Now, thank God I have them and they make the difference. Sadio Mane, Bobby Firmino, Mo Salah – these guys in the last situation are really outstanding.”

Arsenal have some outstanding finishers of their own. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who shared the Premier League Golden Boot with Mane and Salah last season, has scored his side’s winner in the first two games of the campaign.

And on the evidence of Liverpool’s first four games of the season across all competitions, a defence that registered 20 Premier League clean sheets last season looks far less solid.

Alisson Becker remains sidelined with a calf injury, meaning Adrian – whose calamitous attempted clearance gifted Southampton a goal last weekend – will keep his place in goal.

Solskjaer’s vision coming together

Whilst Liverpool and Arsenal have taken advantage of a couple of kind fixtures to get their campaigns off to a bright start, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham all dropped points on matchday two.

The roles are reversed this weekend as United host Crystal Palace, who have yet to score this season at Old Trafford, City travel to Bournemouth and Spurs seek to dismiss Newcastle with the ease newly-promoted Norwich did last weekend.

United paid the penalty for Paul Pogba’s miss from the spot in a 1-1 draw at Wolves on Monday, but following on from a 4-0 win over Chelsea on the opening weekend of the season, there have been plenty of encouraging signs that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s vision for a young, quick and hungry side is taking shape.

Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who will face his old side this weekend, have made an immediate impact in shoring up a leaky defence, while Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial have formed a dynamic partnership up front.

Pukki to pile pressure on Lampard?

Lampard was not handed an easy start to life as Chelsea boss with a trip to Old Trafford followed by Liverpool in the UEFA Super Cup and the visit of an ambitious Leicester side to Stamford Bridge last weekend.

However, Lampard, who had just one year’s managerial experience at Derby prior to taking over his old club, needs a win at Norwich to ease the questioning of his tactics.

The former England international has been accused of being too gung-ho in his approach as both United and Leicester cut Chelsea open relentlessly on the counter-attack.

If Lampard cannot tailor his approach, Norwich have a striker in form ready to take advantage. Teemu Pukki has scored four times in his first two Premier League appearances, including a hat-trick against Newcastle last weekend.

Fixtures (1400GMT unless stated)

Friday

Aston Villa v Everton (1900)

Saturday

Norwich v Chelsea (1130), Brighton v Southampton, Manchester United v Crystal Palace, Sheffield United v Leicester, Watford v West Ham, Liverpool v Arsenal (1630)

Sunday

Bournemouth v Manchester City (1300), Tottenham v Newcastle, Wolves v Burnley (both 1530)

Lampard Sees Positives As Chelsea Miss Out On Super Cup

Chelsea’s English head coach Frank Lampard gestures during the UEFA Super Cup 2019 football match between FC Liverpool and FC Chelsea at Besiktas Park Stadium in Istanbul on August 14, 2019. OZAN KOSE / AFP

 

Coach Frank Lampard took great encouragement from Chelsea’s display in the UEFA Super Cup in Istanbul on Wednesday, despite the disappointment of losing on penalties to English rivals Liverpool.

“I think we can get better, there are things I still want us to improve on in terms of how we play slightly, but I am really happy with the performance,” said Lampard after Chelsea held the European champions to a 2-2 draw after extra time, only to lose 5-4 in the shoot-out.

“To lose the game was disappointing but if it means Chelsea’s season can be something like how we played today, we’ll be OK.”

Chelsea took the lead in Istanbul through Olivier Giroud, but Sadio Mane’s equaliser meant the match at the home of Besiktas went to extra time.

The Senegal star then put Liverpool in front in the 95th minute, only for a Jorginho penalty to restore parity again.

The decisive moment came after nine successful spot-kicks when Tammy Abraham’s effort was saved by Adrian.

However, Chelsea were a match for Jurgen Klopp’s team for long spells and Lampard believed they were moving in the right direction after his first competitive game at the helm ended in a 4-0 defeat to Manchester United.

“You know Liverpool have got to where they have got, and I have complete respect for Jurgen Klopp,” said Lampard.

“I am a new manager who’s been here for six weeks or so, and what I saw today were things that I want in the team.

Abraham ‘will come back stronger’

Lampard had already twice been on the losing side in the Super Cup as a player for Chelsea, including the 2013 shootout defeat to Bayern Munich.

He admitted that having two days fewer to prepare had been a factor as the match went all the way. Chelsea played at Old Trafford on Sunday, two days after Liverpool beat Norwich City in their Premier League opener.

“To have two more days recovery at this stage early in the season, it’s clear that it affects your preparation and it’s an advantage to them going in,” said Lampard, whose side next host Leicester City on Sunday.

“But that said I think it happens a lot. I don’t want to look like I’m moaning, I’m delighted with our performance, we didn’t lose the game because of that but it was a bit frustrating.”

Lampard said he had offered words of comfort to Abraham, the 21-year-old who has returned after a loan at Aston Villa with Chelsea unable to make new signings due to a transfer ban.

Abraham had started against Manchester United but was on the bench at kick-off Wednesday before replacing Giroud in the second half.

“He will come back stronger. It is part and parcel of being a player at a top level which is what Tammy now is.”

Lampard was also delighted with the contribution of USA star Christian Pulisic, who made his full debut after signing from Borussia Dortmund in January.

Not 21 until next month, Pulisic played 74 minutes and set up Giroud’s opening goal.

“I think there’s a lot more to come. I think the expectation is right because he is a big signing for us, but we must also remember his age, he’s 20. I am really happy with him.”

‘It Wasn’t A 4-0 Game’: Lampard Frustrated By Chelsea Thrashing

Chelsea’s English head coach Frank Lampard arrives for the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford in Manchester, north-west England, on August 11, 2019. Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Frank Lampard insisted Chelsea didn’t deserve to lose 4-0 at Manchester United as his reign got off to a woeful start on Sunday.

It was a chastening result for new Chelsea manager Lampard after the club’s record goalscorer took over from Maurizio Sarri in the close-season.

Lampard suffered the heaviest defeat by a Chelsea boss in their first game since Danny Blanchflower lost 7-2 at Middlesbrough in December 1978.

Marcus Rashford put United ahead with a penalty after Chelsea had hit the post through Tammy Abraham.

Emerson also struck the woodwork before the interval, but Rashford, Anthony Martial and Daniel James netted after half-time to leave Lampard frustrated.

The manner of Chelsea’s second-half surrender will raise questions about former England midfielder Lampard, who has just one season of managerial experience at second-tier Derby.

But he insisted the result was harsh on Chelsea because they controlled the game for long periods.

‘Missing internationals’

“Four mistakes for the goals, let’s get that out straight away because we have to be self-critical about that,” Lampard said.

“But other than that, for 60 minutes we controlled the game. It wasn’t a 4-0 game for long periods but we need to accept it.

“At half-time, we should be in the lead. Then all of a sudden the second and third goals, two mistakes, and it’s much easier for them.”

Chelsea were without injured stars Callum Hudson-Odoi and Antonio Rudiger, while France midfielder N’Golo Kante was only fit enough to come off the bench.

“At 1-0 we were the better team but I can’t stand here and look happy with that because it’s 4-0,” Lampard said.

“We are missing internationals and big players but I don’t want that to be an excuse.”

In contrast to Lampard’s woes, it was a dream United debut for England defender Harry Maguire.

Maguire became the world’s most expensive defender when he moved to United from Leicester for £80 million days before the transfer deadline.

His presence immediately made a United defence that crumbled too often last season look more imposing and Maguire called on his team to turn Old Trafford into a fortress.

It’s a great start for myself and obviously the team. We rode our luck a little bit in the first half, we gave them too many chances and were sloppy on the ball,” Maguire said.

“In the second half we were a lot better, were much more like ourselves and controlled the game and we fully deserved the three points.

“It was the first game of the season at Old Trafford, so there were few nerves in the first half.

“We knew there were only two clean sheets last year here. We need to make it a fortress.

“I felt good. I’ve only had three or four days with the lads. I am going to get fitter and better.”

AFP

Lampard Trusts Chelsea Youngsters For Man United Clash

Last-Gasp Goal Gives Lampard Winning Start With Derby
(FILES) Frank Lampard. Adrian DENNIS / AFP

 

Harry Maguire will make his first appearance as the world’s most expensive defender as Manchester United host Chelsea on Sunday hoping the England international will be the key figure to shore up a leaky defence.

Maguire joined United for £80 million ($96 million) from Leicester and makes his debut alongside £50 million right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka as the Red Devils aim to remedy a defence that conceded 54 Premier League goals last season to finish sixth.

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has put his faith in youth with Scott McTominay and Andreas Perreira also starting in midfield with experienced figures like Juan Mata, Nemanja Matic and Ashley Young relegated to the bench.

There is also a youthful look to Frank Lampard’s first-team selection as Chelsea manager as the former England international handed starts to Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham.

American international Christian Pulisic has to wait for his Premier League debut as he starts on the bench.

AFP

Lampard Looks Forward To Mourinho League Cup Clash

Lampard Retires From Professional Football

 

Frank Lampard is relishing the chance to pit his wits against former manager Jose Mourinho when Manchester United host Derby in the League Cup at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

Lampard, who is in his first management job, watched his Derby side climb into the top six of the Championship with a stylish 3-1 home win against Brentford on Saturday.

Mourinho’s United are languishing in seventh in the Premier League after a 1-1 home draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Mourinho managed Lampard during two spells in charge of Chelsea and left a lasting effect on the former England midfielder. Mourinho gave Lampard a congratulatory phone call following the recent birth of his third daughter.

“I’m looking forward to seeing him,” said Lampard. “On a personal level, (he is) a manager that was hugely influential on my career twice, but particularly the first time around.

“I respect him completely for that. It will be nice to see him and go up against one of his teams.”

He added: “You will find Jose Mourinho players being managers all over the place because he has been so successful in his career.”

Lampard expects his Derby side to face a tough test regardless of United’s relative struggles this season.

“They’re expected to win, quite rightly so with the squad they’ve amassed there,” he said. “It’s a challenge for us and we want to go there and do as well as we can.”

But Lampard believes his players can perform well in the third-round tie at Old Trafford.

“If we put in the energy and the focus that we have (against Brentford) then we’ll make a good account of ourselves,” he said.

“What we can’t do is go there and walk away at the end of the game and say ‘oh, we should have done that, we should have shown more against this team or on this occasion’. We have to give everything.”

AFP

Lampard Considered To Replace Emenalo As Technical Director

Former Chelsea FC midfielder and club legend, Frank Lampard, said on Thursday he has not heard anything further on the “rumours” of being considered a replacement for Michael Emenalo who stepped down as technical director for Chelsea on Monday.

Lampard who was in Tokyo on Thursday to meet fans, also held a coaching session at the British embassy for children from the local British School, and junior players from the Shibuya Tobu Junior Football Club.

Lampard commented on the video assistant referee (VAR) system ahead of its trial by England FA when it hosts world champions Germany in a friendly at Wembley on Friday (November 10).

Lampard said, “Moving forward, I think we have to be very careful how we, how much we let go to technology. I think it’s important that we experiment, and I believe the next England game is going to have a video referee, so that is going to be something we need to look at. But for me, before we start putting it in the major tournaments, we have to make sure that we are not trying to video every moment of the game, and try and make video decisions on opinions.”

Michael Emenalo who stepped down as technical director for Chelsea

Matches between England and Germany have seen several controversial decisions in the past including Lampard’s disallowed goal in the 2010 World Cup and Geoff Hurst’s goal in the 1966 World Cup final.

Lampard also expressed his desire to one day takes on Chelsea as a coach. “That would be my dream,” he said.

Reuters 

EURO 2012: England can’t make it without Rooney – Nani

Portugal winger and Manchester United forward man, Nani opined that England will not go far into the Euro 2012 tournament not talk of making it out of the group stage as Wayne Rooney is not in the line-up of the three lions.

Rooney got himself suspended after the opening two games in Ukraine as he was red-carded in the qualifying clash when England faced Montenegro in October 2011.

A major headache that is for England Manager Roy Hodgson who is looking at either Danny Welbeck or Andy Carroll as possible replacements for the England striker as they prepare to face France  and Sweden on Monday and June 15th respectively.

Rooney teammate at Manchester United expressed his fear that not pitching Wayne Rooney for England will the campaign in EURO 2012 earlier than planned for he is a key player for England that will be missed in the two games and the spate of injuries to key players could mean England will be on an early plane out of Ukraine.

According to the 25 year old Portuguese player, “Rooney is angry about his absence because he knows he’s the man to score goals and he won’t be there working for the team. I sincerely want England to reach the quarter-finals, but it’s not going to be easy”.

He said the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard and Gareth Barry are vulnerable because they are suffering in all departments of the team as these players are so important for the team and their replacements are not at the same level.

However, England captain Steven Gerard claims the lower expectation levels on his side may actually work in their favour this time around.