joao felix scores for chelsea

‘A nice step forward’ – Lampard reacts as Chelsea earn ‘deserved’ first win in 10

Chelsea finally got back to winning ways this afternoon, beating Bournemouth 3-1 at the Vitality.

There wouldn’t have been many to have predicted that these two sides would come into this end-of-season encounter level on points, though Bournemouth’s recent form and Chelsea’s season of struggle saw the pair start the game in 12th and 13th on 39 points.


It was Chelsea who struck first blood on the South Coast though, Conor Gallagher getting in front of his man to get on the end of an N’Golo Kante cross before heading past a helpless Neto in just the ninth minute.

Chelsea have, however, conceded 12 goals in their last six outings, and conceded another midway through the first half. The Cherries produced some lovely interplay in the buildup, passing their way through the Blues’ midfield, before Matias Vina curled a superb effort from the edge of the area into the top corner.

It was a much better performance from the West London club from what we have seen in recent weeks, and in the 82nd minute, Benoit Badiashille got on the end of a Hakim Ziyech free-kick to put the visitors ahead.

Four minutes later and Chelsea made sure of securing a victory – their first in 10 games – Raheem Sterling going on a superb driving run into the Bournemouth box, before he laid it off to Joao Felix who slotted home.

Speaking afterwards, interim Blues boss Frank Lampard felt his side ‘deserved’ the three points, the first points of his second spell in charge.

“I’m happy. We came in off the back of a tough run, it’s been a tough year and there is a lot work to do, but the performance and the result in isolation are really good,” he told Sky Sports.

“We deserved to win the game. It’s a nice step forward for the lads. To work hard and come to a place that has been very hard for a lot of teams this year… I’m very happy.”

Lampard made five changes to the side that were beaten by Arsenal last time out, while Sterling, Ziyech and Felix were all introduced from the bench to have an effect on the game.

“In the modern game, those changes are huge,” the 44-year-old said. “It’s important with the squad that we have that people feel like they can come in and affect the game. We’ve worked towards that and I think every one of them did.

“Joao Felix gets his goal. All involved in the goals and active in the game. That’s the competition you need if you want to compete at the level we want to get to.”

Despite having a reputation as one of the best defensive midfielders in the business, N’Golo Kante operated in a more advanced role for today’s game, and Lampard was asked on his role.

“It’s worked for us a few times. He was fantastic in that area against Real Madrid,” he said of the Frenchman.

“A lot of people consider him a defensive midfielder because he’s so good at defensive actions. But a lot of his stuff is really front foot and we can be really good higher up the pitch with his actual end product.

“He drives into the box, he’s great. He’s played a few games on the bounce now so we had to take him off for legs but if he’s fit and playing well, you’d have him for every minute of every game.”

Bournemouth did have a strong shout for a penalty, and Lampard felt that his side have deserved a ‘twist of luck’.

“On first viewing I thought it wasn’t. But if you say it wasn’t and VAR says it wasn’t, that’s good enough for me. Maybe in the period of time since I’ve been here, we’ve deserved that twist of luck – if it was a twist of luck.”

Asked about the confidence within the group, Lampard said: “I don’t know why the players can’t grasp it, there are a few younger players we’ve brought in and it doesn’t matter if you’ve won a World Cup, you’re moving to the Premier League. There are a few players finding their feet.

“Typically at Chelsea, one or two have fed into the group and now we have more. It’s understandable that as a group finding rhythm and confidence can be difficult. This is a first step, it won’t be plane sailing but there is talent there and the players need to come together to get us to where we want to be.”

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