Date of publication: Thursday, October 29, 2020 1:54
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard singled out Hakim Ziyech for his praise after the winger scored against Krasnodar on his full debut for the club.
The Moroccan came off the bench for draws against Southampton (3-3), Sevilla (0-0) and Man Utd (0-0).
But he had his first start on Wednesday night and helped Chelsea win over the 4-0 winners. They now have four out of six points in their first two Champions League matches.
Callum Hudson-Odoi gave the Blues a lead in the first period. And goals from Timo Werner, Ziyech and Christian Pulic in the last 15 minutes ended a great night.
Lampard was full of compliments on the 27-year-old, who had signed from Ajax.
“Hakim Ziyech worked really hard to get in shape, and I was very excited to bring his quality to the team, ”said Lampard.
“He brought a lot of quality and calm when he was on the pitch and got a well-deserved goal.
“His performance was very, very good considering he hasn’t started a game since March, when the Dutch league ended.
“It was frustrating for him and for us because his injury prevented him from starting.
“But what I saw in training and what I knew we were signing was a player of immense quality with the personality to receive the ball and find assists and goals.
“We’ve seen a lot of previews of this, and it will get better.
“We got him to do a job, and maybe people kinda forgot about him because we signed him in January and he missed the start of the season.
“But now he’s shown he’s here.
Lampard supports Rudiger
Lampard was also thorough in his praise for the defender Antonio Rudiger.
The German looked almost certain to leave Stamford Bridge during the recent transfer window.
But he stayed and the Krasnodar game marked his first minutes of the season.
“I am very satisfied with the performance of Rudiger and (Kurt) Zouma,” said the Chelsea boss. “They can take credit for the clean sheet, among other players.
“I had no doubts about Toni. His training and professionalism have been clear since I’ve been here, and certainly in recent weeks.
“And I was satisfied with the level of concentration of the last five, to have a real desire to keep a clean sheet.”
Chelsea’s defense came under fierce criticism in the first weeks of the season. They dispatched three goals against the two West Brom and Southampton, drawing 3-3.
But the shutout against Krasnodar was their third straight clean sheet after 0-0 against Sevilla and Man Utd.