After failing to win in his first two games of the season, external pressure was beginning to mount (pun intended) on Frank Lampard.
Supporters have seen patches in all three of Chelsea’s competitive fixtures that had shown it was only a matter of time before that first victory would come.
An early kick off away at a newly promoted side is a perfect opportunity to get that first win, sending out that message to your rivals before they even kick off.
Much like against Leicester, Chelsea started quickly and Tammy Abraham opened his Chelsea account. It shows how much these kids appreciate the coaching staff, as he was straight over to Lampard, Jody Morris and Joe Edwards, to celebrate his goal.
Chelsea’s defensive frailties showed soon after, Lampard will be hoping that Antonio Rudiger can return quickly, and it’ll be interesting to see if Reece James does replace Cesar Azpilicueta, who assisted Abraham’s goal, at right back or if he’ll be utilised in midfield to provide much needed cover for the central defenders, as he did on loan at Wigan last season.
Many expect this season to be a bit ‘cat and mouse’, we know we’ll concede goals, but we’ll also make sure we score one more.
I’m sure Lampard would prefer to shore up that defence, to help take the pressure of the youngsters upfront.
Chelsea’s brave new era (helped by a transfer ban) saw them field their youngest starting XI in 25 years.
It’s easy to forget that despite his Bundesliga experience, Christian Pulisic is still only 20-years-old, and like Mason Mount, Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odoi will take time to get going.
Pulisic did however notch his first assist, laying the ball into Mount’s path which saw him get his second Chelsea goal.
Last season we struggled to score from midfield, but having Mount, coached by the highest scoring midfielder in Premier League history, is obviously helping to fix this problem.
It’s also helping that Lampard wants the midfield to be more direct. Maurizio Sarri’s instructions were always to keep possession, people questioned what Jorginho offered the team.
Today they sang his name.
I suppose that’s one of the best things about having Lampard in charge, those players who were guilty of association with Sarri are starting to be appreciated, Jorginho is one and Mateo Kovacic the other.
The fans and the squad are united, and at the heart of it are players who’ve been made in Chelsea.
Mount and Abraham have worked through the academy with Morris and Edwards, as have James and to a lesser extent Andreas Christensen and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
It means as much to them as it does those supporters in the stands, who again, were absolutely excellent again.
Our away support really doesn’t get the credit it deserves. I listened to the game on the 5th stand app and all you could hear in the back ground was Chelsea.
Perhaps because the atmosphere inside Stamford Bridge often leaves a lot to be desired, but the return of Lampard and the work of groups like We Are The Shed, might help change things.
What strikes me most is the positivity now surrounding this group, we know it’ll be a tough season, we’ve lost our best player and are reliant on youngsters, but we’re happy.
We’ll take the defeats on the chin and we’ll saviour each victory, because as each win is earned, we know it’s been made in Chelsea.
Dean is the author of ‘Cult Fiction- how a year under Sarri almost tore Chelsea apart’ available on Amazon now amzn.to/2T7v5Tu