Lampard backs Ziyech to kick on after 'frustrating' start to Chelsea career

By Sports Desk October 28, 2020

Frank Lampard has backed Hakim Ziyech to build on his first Chelsea goal after a "frustrating" start to his time at Stamford Bridge.

Ziyech picked up an injury in Chelsea's shortened pre-season campaign and had been restricted to just three substitute appearances since his move from Ajax.

However, he was fit enough to make his full debut in Wednesday's 4-0 Champions League win over Krasnodar and marked the occasion with his maiden strike.

The Morocco international fired home his side's third goal in the 79th minute - one of four attempts he managed on target, which is three more than any of his team-mates. 

"Hakim was fit today, the first time he's really been fit to start a game," Lampard said during his post-match news conference. 

"He has worked really hard to be fit and I was very keen to get his quality into the team. 

"We saw that for the whole period he was on the pitch. He brought a lot of quality and calmness and got a well-deserved goal."

Ziyech has been directly involved in 13 goals in his last 15 Champions League starts and Lampard is pleased he is finally getting to see the winger on the field.

"I thought his performance was very very good when you consider he hasn't started a match since March when the Dutch league finished," he said.

"So I have been very excited to get him on the pitch so it has been frustrating for me and for him that his injury hasn't allowed him to start.

"But what I have seen in training so far and what I knew we were signing as a player was a player with immense quality and personality to receive the ball, assist and find goals. 

"We saw a lot of glimpses of that today. We brought him in to do a job and maybe people have forgotten a bit because we signed him in January and he missed the start of the season. Tonight, he certainly showed he is here."

Callum Hudson-Odoi opened the scoring in Russia with his first goal in the Champions League, benefiting from goalkeeper Matvey Safonov's error.

The winger has featured only 22 times in the Premier League since the start of last season due to injuries, but no Chelsea player has more assists-per-game than his 0.53 in that time, while his 2.12 chances created is also the highest of any player at Stamford Bridge.

Asked about Hudson-Odoi's display, Lampard said: "The goal is clearly going to be good for his confidence. There were things I liked in his game today, like his desire to run in behind the defence. 

"Sometimes one v one, it didn't go his way but I'm very pleased that when you play in the Champions League and get your goal."

Hudson-Odoi's breakthrough strike came 23 minutes after Jorginho had hit the post from the penalty spot - the second time he has missed from 12 yards in his last four attempts.

Timo Werner showed Jorginho how it is done by tucking away a penalty of his own in the second half, opening the floodgates for Chelsea as Ziyech and Christian Pulisic wrapped up the win with a late flurry.

Lampard insisted he has no issues with Jorginho's penalty-taking technique but hinted he is not against naming Werner as the Blues' regular taker, as he was at RB Leipzig.

"Jorginho has had an incredibly successful rate of scoring penalties in his career, particularly at Chelsea," he said.

"My feeling is that when you take as many penalties as he does there can be periods when you can miss one or two. I've experienced that as a player.

"I've no problem at all with his style of taking them because of the success he has had and Timo Werner I know is very capable of taking penalties, as we saw. 

"We have other players that can so I'll talk with them afterwards to see how we move forward but we have good takers at the club."

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