Chelsea interim manager Frank Lampard has hailed his side’s performance in the comfortable 3-1 victory over Bournemouth at Vitality Stadium this afternoon.
The Blues raced into the lead in the opening ten minutes, with Conor Gallagher heading home N’Golo Kante’s cross to register only his third Premier League goal of the season.
However, the Cherries – famous for their comeback ability this term – responded in the 21st minute through Matias Vina, who curled a long-range beauty past Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Chelsea dominated possession but were often caught in transition by Bournemouth, who were far too incisive for the visitors to contain.
Having been beaten early on, Arrizabalaga made three saves to deny the Cherries before late goals from Benoit Badiashile and Joao Felix ensured the goalkeeper’s efforts were not in vain.
An overjoyed Lampard bemoaned his side’s lack of killer instinct from their first-half performance but praised the victory.
“Today was a nice step forward,” said Lampard (via ChelseaTV). “I thought we controlled the game. We couldn’t feel safe at 1-1, but I felt we controlled it.
“There was maybe a sign with us controlling the first half but without maybe the killer instinct, but there were some nice individual performances today and a positive direction.
“They should enjoy it, and we’re happy because when you don’t have that feeling for a while, it gradually knocks you down.
“But we cannot take our foot off the pedal in terms of trying to take steps forward until the end of this season.”
Lampard then offered an update on Ben Chilwell’s fitness after the defender was forced off through an injury before being replaced by Cesar Azpilicueta in the 75th minute.
“It’s a hamstring injury,” Lampard added. “We don’t know if it’s serious, but with a hamstring injury at this stage of the season it’s clearly a worry for the last few games.”
Chelsea have finally surpassed the 40-point mark and are mathematically safe from relegation, so Lampard’s immediate focus would be to try and build on the hard-fought win heading into the remaining fixtures.
The Blues are still in line to finish the troubled campaign in the top half of the Premier League table, but they will need to pick up all three points again when they welcome Nottingham Forest to Stamford Bridge.
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