Frank Lampard has hailed Chelsea’s ‘work ethic’ after the club boosted their hopes of securing Champions League football with a 2-1 win over Manchester City.
Chelsea restored their five-point advantage over Manchester United and Wolves with a hard-fought victory at Stamford Bridge, goals from Christian Pulisic and Willian securing three points in a result that finally saw City relinquish the title and Liverpool crowned as champions.
Lampard’s side opened the scoring as Pulisic made it two goals in two fixtures since the Premier League restart, the USA international cooly slotting home his seventh league goal of the campaign after racing through on the break.
Kevin De Bruyne’s sensational free-kick levelled the scores ten minutes into the second-half before Willian’s penalty secured a precious three points for the hosts after Fernandinho was dismissed for a goal-line handball.
Lampard was full of praise for his side who edged ever closer to securing Champions League qualification, praising the Blues’ work ethic following a ‘big performance’ and ‘big three points’.
“It was a big performance from us,” said Lampard at his press conference. “We had to work a lot off the ball, as you do against Pep Guardiola’s Man City. It was tough, but the work ethic the lads put in throughout the game, the focus, how dangerous we were – we had the better chances – we deserved to win.
“It’s a big three points. We are in a battle here and it’s not going to be decided tonight. It’s a nice result which gives us confidence. Now the consistency we produce until the end of the season is what is going to define us this year, and get us the finish we want. There is no point in performing like that if we can’t get some momentum and sustain it. That only comes with focus and hard work.
“There’s more belief needed in this team. What Manchester City showed us is a team that has been building up and working together for years and has so much confidence on the ball. We have that ability on the ball but we need to be a bit more confident in ourselves, to play, take the ball, receive the ball, and that will come.”
Chelsea next travel to face Leicester in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup on Sunday, as the west London side seek to take a step closer to winning the first major silverware of Lampard’s reign at the club.