Chelsea assistant manager and club legend Gianfranco Zola has admitted that Derby County caused his side a lot of problems as they edged past the Championship outfit 3-2 at Stamford Bridge.
It was an emotional evening in West London, as Frank Lampard returned to his former club for the first time in his managerial career, and his Derby side gave it a real good go, despite conceding two own goals in the first half.
It was in fact one of Chelsea‘s own who gave the Blues the lead as Fikayo Tomori turned the ball into his own net after just five minutes, having been given dispensation to play against his parent club. Derby levelled the scores through Jack Marriot with just nine minutes played, before Richard Keogh also scored an own goal with only 21 minutes on the clock to restore the Premier League side’s lead.
Not to be deterred though, Derby rallied again, and they found themselves level before the half-hour mark thanks to Martyn Waghorn’s strike. The Rams would however fall behind one final time when Cesc Fabregas restored the Blues’ advantage before the break.
The scores would remain at 3-2 for the remainder of the game, but Gianfranco Zola admitted that Lampard’s side caused his former employers plenty of problems.
“It was a tough game. Derby were excellent. They created us more problems. Our defence wasn’t as good as other times. But most of the problems were created by them,” Zola told Sky Sports.
“We were in control until about 10-15 minutes to go. In those moments we thought about scoring too much. When you open up against a team with that quality, it is 50-50. We were lucky on occasions.”