Jorginho missed the chance to make Arsenal tremble as he became the first Chelsea player since current manager Frank Lampard to fail with two penalties in a Premier League season.

The Blues midfielder had seen Tammy Abraham give his team hope by cutting Arsenal's lead to 3-1 at Emirates Stadium, so a 90th-minute spot-kick was the chance to heap pressure on the hosts.

With plenty of stoppage time ahead, a successful penalty could have been followed by a Chelsea equaliser, but Jorginho saw his kick saved by Bernd Leno.

That eased the pressure immensely for Arsenal, and they survived to claim a much-needed win.

Watching at pitchside, Chelsea boss Lampard may have remembered his own misses from 12 yards during his playing career.

In the 2013-14 Premier League campaign, Lampard took three penalties but only converted one of those, netting in a 3-0 win at his former club West Ham.

Lampard missed from the spot but scored a free-kick in a 2-0 win over Hull City, while against Stoke City he had a penalty saved by Asmir Begovic but converted the rebound in a 3-0 victory.

Jorginho's kick on Saturday was Chelsea's eighth penalty against Arsenal in the Premier League and the first they have failed to convert.

Considered an expert from the spot, Jorginho has followed up five successive conversions by missing two of his last four.

This season, he has netted three from five attempts in the league.

Had he beaten Leno, Jorginho would have become the first Chelsea player to score in three consecutive Premier League appearances against Arsenal since Didier Drogba reached that mark in October 2010.

 

Erling Haaland is Chelsea's number one transfer target, while a pair of Premier League giants are lining up January bids for Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish.

Borussia Dortmund star Haaland has netted 23 goals in 23 games since moving to the Bundesliga in January, leading to him reportedly being installed as Frank Lampard's top target for the off-season.

Will Haaland make the move to Chelsea?


TOP STORIES – CHELSEA WANT HAALAND

Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland has been identified as Chelsea's top transfer target along with West Ham's Declan Rice, according to Sky Sports journalist Angelo Mangiante.

Haaland has been linked with LaLiga champions Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool.

But Haaland is wanted in London as Chelsea prepare for a clear-out, with seven players being made available – Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, Jorginho, Marcos Alonso, Ross Barkley, Danny Drinkwater and Victor Moses.

Italy moved top of Nations League Group A1 heading into the final matchday as a Jorginho penalty and Domenico Berardi's late goal sealed a 2-0 win over 10-man Poland. 

With coach Roberto Mancini isolating after testing positive for COVID-19, his team turned in an accomplished display in Reggio Emilia as they extended their unbeaten run to 21 matches. 

Jorginho's 27th-minute spot-kick proved crucial, with the penalty awarded for Grzegorz Krychowiak hauling down Andrea Belotti, whose earlier venture into an offside position had cancelled out Lorenzo Insigne's would-be opener. 

Though Belotti and Nicolo Barella squandered chances to add to Italy's lead, Poland's comeback hopes all but ended when Jacek Goralski received a second yellow card, with Berardi subsequently adding gloss to a dominant display.

Italy thought they had their reward for a bright start when Insigne drilled in from Barella's cross, only for the goal to be disallowed due to Belotti's position. 

Yet the striker swiftly made amends by drawing a clumsy foul from Krychowiak, with Jorginho coolly sending Wojciech Szczesny the wrong way. 

Belotti looked set to double Italy's lead only to volley over after latching onto Insigne's delightful pass, while Barella lashed over following the restart. 

Goralski was fortunate to escape with a booking for a lunge on Belotti, with Poland's half-time substitute having flown in with his studs up, though his luck soon ran out. 

After Belotti had a penalty appeal for handball dismissed, the Torino player was scythed into by Goralski, who duly received his marching orders to end a dismal cameo off the bench. 

Italy made their numerical advantage count to grab a deserved second – Insigne playing in the unmarked Berardi to thump in his second international goal.

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."

Hakim Ziyech scored his first goal for Chelsea on his full debut to help his side ease to a 4-0 win over Krasnodar in Wednesday's Champions League Group E clash. 

Frank Lampard's side had drawn their previous three matches, including two outings without scoring, but found the right balance between attack and defence in Russia. 

Callum Hudson-Odoi was gifted his first goal in the competition by a goalkeeping error from Matvey Safonov after Jorginho had earlier missed from the penalty spot for the second time this season. 

Chelsea were given a scare when Yuri Gazinskiy's strike came back off the crossbar, but Timo Werner succeeded where Jorginho failed in converting from 12 yards out. Ziyech got off the mark to secure the result, while substitute Christian Pulisic added a late fourth.

Jorginho had sent Safonov the wrong way with his penalty after Werner was clipped by Kaio in the box, yet the ball ricocheted back off a post. 

However, Chelsea were gifted a goal 23 minutes later as Hudson-Odoi cut inside Igor Smolnikov and fired a weak shot on target that squirmed through Safonov's grasp. 

That goal forced Krasnodar to come out of their shell and they so nearly equalised 10 minutes into the second half, Gazinskiy hitting the bar with a volley. 

Krasnodar were competing at home in UEFA's showpiece competition for the first time and again went close through Marcus Berg's effort, which Edouard Mendy was equal to. 

But an unfortunate penalty decision against Aleksandr Martynovich - Pulisic's shot from point-blank range hitting the skipper's thigh and then his arm - allowed Werner to tuck home from the spot, five minutes after Jorginho had been substituted. 

Chelsea went through the gears and had a third goal via Ziyech's crisp finish, with the fourth arriving in the final minute through Pulisic's shot from a tight angle. 

Kylian Mbappe has long been coveted by Zinedine Zidane's Real Madrid.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward has also made no secret of his admiration for fellow Frenchman Zidane.

But Erling Haaland could be a cheaper option for Madrid amid the coronavirus pandemic.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID TURN TO HAALAND?

Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland is an alternative transfer target for Real Madrid if Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe does not move to the Santiago Bernabeu, according to the front page of Tuesday's Marca.

Mbappe – also linked to Liverpool – has long been Madrid's number one transfer target and the LaLiga champions are preparing to make a move for the PSG star in 2021.

But if Mbappe does not make the switch from France to Spain, Haaland has emerged as another option for Zinedine Zidane.

 

ROUND-UP

- Barcelona are targeting a triple transfer swoop in January, reports Tuesday's edition of Mundo Deportivo. After failing in the previous window, Barca are prepared to renew their attempts to sign Lyon captain Memphis Depay, Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum and Manchester City defender Eric Garcia.

Manchester United are very interested in Rennes and France sensation Eduardo Camavinga, says AS. The teenage midfielder has been heavily linked with Madrid and PSG.

- Calciomercato says Roma will return for Napoli outcast Arkadiusz Milik in January. Roma tried to sign the forward before the transfer window closed. It comes as Roma could offer Edin Dzeko a new contract after he was poised to join Juventus.

- Football London claims Chelsea are set to hand midfielder Jorginho a new contract after rejecting a move to rivals Arsenal.

There is a team from Merseyside leading the way in the Premier League, but it is not the reigning champions.

Everton have started the 2020-21 season in outstanding form, making it four wins from four as they saw off Brighton and Hove Albion to move clear of neighbours Liverpool and Leicester City at the summit.

Manchester City are a little off the pace in the early stages after they were held by Leeds United, while Chelsea and Newcastle United were victorious on home turf in Saturday's action.

Now the dust has settled, relive the action with the help of some notable facts from Opta.

 

Chelsea 4-0 Crystal Palace: Chilwell impresses before Jorginho hits the spot

Talk about a game of contrasting halves. Chelsea struggled in the first 45 minutes, but everything changed when Ben Chilwell opened the scoring on his 100th Premier League appearance - his first for the Blues since arriving from Leicester.

The left-back also delivered the ball that allowed Kurt Zouma to double the advantage, making Chilwell just the third player to score and assist in a Premier League debut for Chelsea, a feat previously achieved by Deco and Alvaro Morata.

Jorginho converted twice from the spot to give the final score a lopsided look, meaning the midfielder has scored 10 of his 11 penalties in the Premier League (his solitary miss came against Liverpool last month, in case you happen to have forgotten).

Still, perhaps the outcome should have been expected. Chelsea have now won six straight in the league against Palace, who have been beaten in nine of their past 12 top-flight outings.

Everton 4-2 Brighton and Hove Albion: Inspirational James helps Toffees stay perfect

The good times continue at Goodison Park as Everton continue to impress. The previous time they won four in a row at the start of the season was back in 1969, when Carlo Ancelotti was 10 years old.

James Rodriguez is certainly rolling back the years since his arrival in England, scoring twice in this game to help down the Seagulls. He was one of three Colombians to appear in this fixture too, joined by team-mate Yerry Mina and Brighton's Steven Alzate.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin continued his scoring streak with the opener, becoming the first player to find the net in each of Everton's first four Premier League games of a season in the process.

Another error by Jordan Pickford is a concern - the England international has now made 11 that led to goals since his Everton debut in August 2107, more than any other goalkeeper in that time - but should not spoil the feel-good atmosphere on the blue half of Merseyside.

Leeds United 1-1 Manchester City: Pep makes his point as Rodrigo ends wait

The clash between stylists Marcelo Bielsa and Pep Guardiola did not disappoint, even with heavy rainfall throughout at Elland Road. Pep remains unbeaten against his fellow coach in four meetings, though he had to settle for a point as his depleted City side were pegged back.

Raheem Sterling broke the deadlock; he has scored more goals than any other Premier League player in all competitions since the start of last season (34), albeit this one was not enough to secure victory.

Rodrigo levelled, in the process becoming the first Spaniard to score for Leeds in the Premier League. It was not his first in the competition, though, as that came for Bolton nine years and 272 days earlier. Only Andy Johnson (nine years and 276 days) has had a longer gap between goals in the Premier League era.

Speaking of gaps, City have four points from three games so sit eight points behind Everton. Plenty of time left yet, of course, but the international break may come at a nice time for Guardiola and his squad, provided no players get injured while representing their countries.

Newcastle United 3-1 Burnley: Maximin effect helps give Bruce home comforts

Allan Saint-Maximin stole the show as Steve Bruce's side collected their first home league win in six attempts, while they are unbeaten in seven against Burnley at St James' Park.

Callum Wilson converted a late penalty to finish with a brace, making the striker the first Newcastle player to have four goals in his opening four Premier League games since Les Ferdinand in the 1995-96 campaign.

While Newcastle head into the break on a high, Burnley remain without a point to their name. The last time they lost three straight to start a top-flight campaign was back in 1927-28.

There was a reason to celebrate for Ashley Westwood, grabbing Burnley's goal as he became the eighth player to hit the 100-game mark in the Premier League for the club.

This, however, is a game that will be remembered for the excellence of Saint-Maximin, who both scored and assisted in a Premier League fixture for the first time.

Ben Chilwell produced a star turn on his Premier League debut for Chelsea as Frank Lampard's side beat Crystal Palace 4-0 on Saturday.

Chilwell marked his 100th appearance in the competition with his fifth goal to break the deadlock early in the second half and crossed for Kurt Zouma to double the lead 66 minutes in.

Palace have already beaten Southampton and Manchester United this season, but a run of five consecutive defeats to Chelsea and just two wins in 11 attempts at Stamford Bridge in the top flight was hardly encouraging pre-game reading.

Indeed, Edouard Mendy - making his first league start for the Blues - was largely untested in goal as the home side eased to a third win in six games in all competitions this season through a Jorginho penalty double.

It had looked like being a potentially frustrating contest for Chelsea, Timo Werner shooting straight at Vicente Guaita with one of their few chances of a disjointed first half.

Kai Havertz and Callum Hudson-Odoi, who is again being courted by Bayern Munich, were lively in the Palace half but created little for central striker Tammy Abraham.

So it was that Chelsea's breakthrough came through an unlikely source, Chilwell smashing the ball past Guaita from six yards out after Mamadou Sakho had made a mess of an attempted clearance in the build-up.

Chilwell then turned provider for Chelsea's second, Zouma rising highest to loop a header over Guaita from the England left-back's cross, having missed arguably an easier chance from an earlier corner.

Jorginho made matters safe, slotting a penalty to Guaita's left after Abraham had been tripped in the box by Tyrick Mitchell.

When Sakho felled Havertz, Jorginho was able to score an almost identical spot-kick with eight minutes left - but only after Cesar Azpilicueta had taken the ball off an angry-looking Abraham.

 

What does it mean? Chelsea winning but not yet clicking

Chelsea's past two games were marked by inconsistency. They were excellent to come back and draw 3-3 with West Brom last week only after they had been so poor in the first 45 minutes, while Tuesday's EFL Cup exit to Tottenham on penalties saw them surrender early control of the match.

This was a more accomplished all-round performance, but it still owed much to a lacklustre display from the visitors, who gifted them the opening goal and were careless at the back throughout.

Still, they are now on seven points from four games, a point above Palace.

Chilwell shines

Chelsea paid a reported initial fee of £45million to Leicester City for Chilwell and, on this evidence, it was a sound investment.

Aside from the goal and assist, he was a composed, confident presence down the left, delivering 11 crosses and creating three chances overall.

Sorry Sakho

Palace's good first-half work was undone when Sakho made a mess of clearing the ball before Chilwell's goal, and his poor touch and hurried challenge gifted Jorginho his second penalty. He also won just one of four aerial duels.

What's next?

Chelsea host Southampton next in two weeks' time, with Palace's next outing a home game against Brighton and Hove Albion on October 18.

Timo Werner won a penalty on his Chelsea debut as second-half goals from Reece James and Kurt Zouma ensured they began the Premier League season with a 3-1 win at Brighton and Hove Albion.

Werner and Kai Havertz, the marquee signings of a free-spending transfer window for Chelsea, were each named in a front three for the visit to the Amex Stadium.

The former was key in breaking the deadlock, which Jorginho did in the 23rd minute after Werner was brought down by Mat Ryan.

Lucas Trossard briefly restored parity but a spectacular strike from James and a fortuitous one by Zouma sealed maximum points for Frank Lampard's men.

Neither goalkeeper was troubled in the first 20 minutes before Brighton gifted Chelsea the opening goal with some careless play in their own half.

Steven Alzate conceded possession and Jorginho pounced with a well-weighted throughball to Werner, who was felled by the outstretched knee of the onrushing Ryan.

Craig Pawson showed no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Jorginho tucked away the penalty with his trademark hop on the run up as he sent Ryan the wrong way.

Alzate went closest to producing a response when his drive drew a diving stop from Kepa Arrizabalaga before Ryan had to be alert to prevent Werner beating him at his near post.

Nine minutes after the second-half restart, Brighton were level with a goal that will raise more questions about Kepa's place in the team.

The Chelsea goalkeeper allowed Trossard's effort from outside the box to sneak under his hand and into the bottom-left corner, but parity lasted just 99 seconds.

Ryan was left with no chance as James fired a ferocious long-range effort into the top-right corner, and he was similarly helpless 10 minutes later when Zouma's tame effort deflected in off Adam Webster.

Those goals were separated by Lewis Dunk spurning a great chance to equalise, however, there was little threat from Brighton after Chelsea's third.

Chelsea midfielder Jorginho and Brescia star Sandro Tonali will require coronavirus tests before linking up with Roberto Mancini's Italy squad.

The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) said on Thursday that both will have tests once their "respective isolation requirements are complete", and only then will they be clear to join Mancini's group at Coverciano from Saturday.

The extended Italy squad includes uncapped trio Alessandro Bastoni of Inter and Sassuolo duo Manuel Locatelli and Francesco Caputo, while captain Giorgio Chiellini is back after missing a year of international football due to injury.

Tonali's Brescia team-mate Mario Balotelli has not been called up.

Italy face Bosnia-Herzegovina in Florence on September 4 and the Netherlands three days later in Amsterdam as they get their Nations League campaign underway.

Italy squad in full:

Alessio Cragno (Cagliari), Gianluigi Donnarumma (Milan), Alex Meret (Napoli), Salvatore Sirigu (Torino); Francesco Acerbi (Lazio), Alessandro Bastoni (Inter), Cristiano Biraghi (Inter), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Mattia Caldara (Atalanta), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Danilo D'Ambrosio (Inter), Giovanni Di Lorenzo (Napoli), Alessandro Florenzi (Roma), Gianluca Mancini (Roma), Luca Pellegrini (Juventus), Leonardo Spinazzola (Roma); Nicolo Barella (Inter), Giacomo Bonaventura, Gaetano Castrovilli (Fiorentina), Bryan Cristante (Roma), Jorginho (Chelsea), Roberto Gagliardini (Inter), Manuel Locatelli (Sassuolo), Lorenzo Pellegrini (Roma), Stefano Sensi (Inter), Sandro Tonali (Brescia), Nicolo Zaniolo (Roma); Andrea Belotti (Torino), Federico Bernardeschi (Juventus), Francesco Caputo (Sassuolo), Federico Chiesa (Fiorentina), Stephan El Shaarawy (Shanghai Shenua), Ciro Immobile (Lazio), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Moise Kean (Everton), Kevin Lasagna (Udinese), Riccardo Orsolini (Bologna).

What does the future hold for PSG stars Kylian Mbappe and Neymar?

Real Madrid have made no secret of their admiration for Mbappe, while Barcelona have tried to re-sign Neymar.

As PSG prepare for the 2020-21 campaign, the Ligue 1 holders have made some transfer decisions.

 

TOP STORY – PSG KEEPING MBAPPE, MAKE NEYMAR DECISION

Paris Saint-Germain will not sell Kylian Mbappe ahead of the 2020-21 season but Neymar's future remains uncertain, according to L'Equipe.

Mbappe has been tipped to make the move to Real Madrid in the future, however, Ligue 1 champions PSG have no intention of parting with the France international before next season.

But Neymar – continually linked with a return to Barcelona after leaving in a world-record transfer in 2017 – could leave as PSG look to avoid losing the Brazilian star on a free transfer in 2022.

 

ROUND-UP

Chelsea are preparing their first offer for Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz. Journalist Nicolo Schira reports Chelsea will make a £62million (€70m) bid plus add-ons for Havertz amid interest from Madrid, Manchester United, Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Barca. To fund the transfer, Chelsea will look to sell Inter target Emerson Palmieri, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Jorginho, who would like to reunite with Maurizio Sarri at Juventus.

Luke Shaw could be sacrificed as United look to sign Leicester City's Ben Chilwell, claims the Mirror. United have reportedly leapfrogged Premier League rivals Chelsea and Manchester City in the race for full-back Chilwell.

- Gazzetta dello Sport says Inter are interested in Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante, who has also been linked to Madrid.

Willian has turned down a move to David Beckham's Inter Miami, reports the Telegraph. Willian's Chelsea contract expires at the end of the season and he has been linked to Liverpool, United, Arsenal and Tottenham.

- Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren is wanted by Russian champions Zenit, according to the Evening Standard.

- Calciomercato says Juventus are not the only club eyeing Roma star Nicolo Zaniolo. Jose Mourinho reportedly wants the Italy international at Tottenham, while Madrid and United are also believed to be interested.

- The Express claims Chelsea are stepping up their pursuit of United goalkeeper and Sheffield United loanee Dean Henderson. Chelsea are ready to ask Manchester United for a price as Kepa Arrizabalaga struggles in London.

Frank Lampard is not prepared to look ahead to next season and the possible signing of Kai Havertz - or the departure of Jorginho - just yet.

Chelsea are reportedly the favourites to sign Bayer Leverkusen star Havertz, although a rumoured price tag of over €90million is unlikely to be met by any suitor.

However, speaking ahead of his side's Premier League clash with Sheffield United on Saturday, head coach Lampard made it clear he is not interested in anything beyond the final matches of 2019-20.

Asked about Havertz, he said: "Unfortunately, it's another answer from me that that is not something I want to broach at this moment in time. My focus is completely on the games that we've got. I don't want to give you ifs, buts or maybes on any potential [deal] for the summer. My focus has to be on the here and now."

Lampard also dismissed a question about whether Jorginho will still be at the club in 2020-21, insisting: "It's irrelevant to me what happens next season."

Jorginho has slipped down the midfield pecking order at Stamford Bridge but an injury to Billy Gilmour, which is set to keep the teenager out for up to four months, means the Italy international is likely to be involved in the final games of the season.

Lampard would not say whether Jorginho will be straight back in the team to face Chris Wilder's side, but he insists the player does not have to prove he is worthy of a place at Chelsea.

"We'll see in terms of selection. I don't want to start talking about the team yet, but I don't think there's a point to prove," Lampard said.

"I spoke about him before the last game: there is no point to prove for Jorginho. He proves it in training, when he plays for me, and simply these things are [about] selection. I just want to see the usual Jorginho.

"I'm very pleased [with his attitude] and it's what I expect from players and what I want at the club because there is no way you go through a season without moments possibly out of the team, without moments that are slightly difficult individually or whatever, and you have to have a toughness to you as a squad, individually and collectively, hence why I made him vice-captain when I came in, because I saw that in his personality.

"I thought he did well when he came on the other day – it was exactly what I wanted in the game at that moment, to take control, to drive it with his voice and his quality of pass, which he's done for a huge part of this season for us. I was very pleased with him."

Lampard also plans to speak with N'Golo Kante, who will miss Saturday's game, and the Chelsea medical staff about the player's injury problems this season.

The France star has struggled with a succession of fitness concerns this term, something his coach puts down to the fact his pre-season was curtailed by a knee issue.

"The big issue this year was he came to pre-season injured and missed a massive part of pre-season," he said. "We tried to get him quickly fit for the [UEFA] Super Cup, in which he was incredible with his performance, but he was still struggling, and it's been a real domino effect for him.

"It's time maybe to take stock. The injury he's got now isn't really related to the serious nature of the knee injury he had coming into the season, it's just a small injury, which I think is probably more down to the games played and the lack of pre-season now.

"I'm happy to manage a player like him with the levels he's reached over recent years in his career and where he's at. I'm very happy to manage him as we see fit, so that will be a very open conversation between myself, N'Golo, our strength and conditioning coach and the medical team."

Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard hailed in-form Christian Pulisic after the Blues star scored again in Tuesday's five-goal Premier League thriller against Crystal Palace.

Pulisic scored his eighth league goal of the season from just 16 starts and third since the season restart following the coronavirus-enforced break as Chelsea edged Palace 3-2 at Selhurst Park.

After Olivier Giroud's sixth-minute opener, Pulisic doubled the lead approaching the half-hour mark before Palace star Wilfried Zaha reduced the deficit heading into the interval.

But Tammy Abraham's 71st-minute strike ensured Chelsea climbed above Leicester City into third position, despite Christian Benteke's goal.

Lampard was full of praise for United States international attacker Pulisic – who arrived from Bundesliga outfit Borussia Dortmund at the start of the season – afterwards amid comparisons to former Blues star Eden Hazard.

"I didn't put any limits on [Christian Pulisic]. I knew the talent he had and I wanted to help him when he first got here because this is a physical league, I think the best league because of the physical nature of it," Lampard told reporters.

"He came in and he'd had no break, so we had to be careful. I tried to manage the beginning and he came in and played great for us.

"Unfortunately he had an injury, quite a bad injury. But the hunger he has, the quality that he's showing and the end product, which is the main thing for me.

"Top players in the world in his area, attacking players, do score goals. They win games, they make a difference, they assist. And in the restart he's been fantastic."

Jorginho was once again on the bench for Chelsea, with Lampard preferring Billy Gilmour in the absence of injured midfielder N'Golo Kante.

Italy international Jorginho, who has been previously linked with Juventus, had not made an appearance since the 2019-20 campaign resumed until replacing Gilmour in the 80th minute on Tuesday.

On the fringes at Stamford Bridge, Lampard said of Gilmour's selection ahead of Jorginho: "I thought Billy did pretty well. I wasn’t overly delighted with our midfield today. I think considering how they have played in recent games and how slickly we have moved the ball in recent games and rotation, I thought we held onto it a bit long today.

"The reason I played Billy is a choice. The two games Billy played before lockdown against Liverpool, probably the best team in the world, and Everton were fantastic."

Frank Lampard is optimistic N'Golo Kante's season-spanning injury struggles might be at an end, despite a hamstring strain ruling the midfielder out of the forthcoming Premier League games against Crystal Palace and Sheffield United.

Kante will miss out at Selhurst Park on Tuesday as the Blues look to take another step towards Champions League qualification, although Lampard described the setback as "low-level" with a one-week recuperation period.

The more severe knee injury the 29-year-old sustained on the eve last season's Europa League final win over Arsenal, where Kante completed 90 minutes with the help of a painkilling injection, is one that still rankles with Lampard, who has been without one of his most influential players for 11 of the 33 Premier League games so far this term.

"He had a pretty bad injury in the Europa League final. When we came back for pre-season I expected him to be, sort of, fit," the Chelsea boss explained.

"When I say expect, I wasn't sure what the situation was and it turned out he wasn't near fit with that injury.

"Then we end up with a slight domino effect that took us through the rest of the season, which means he played pretty much 50 per cent of the games before we went into lockdown.

"I'd like to think that we're through that patch and this injury now is pretty unrelated."

There will be little let up for Chelsea's players, who could yet have an FA Cup final assignment and their Champions League last-16 clash with Bayern Munich – a 3-0 first-leg deficit makes progress to the final mini-tournament in Lisbon highly unlikely – to address in August before an expectedly quick turnaround for the 2020-21 campaign.

Lampard believes this period will show players the value of knowing their limits, suggesting the famously all-action Kante is receptive to tailoring his methods.

"The players have to be given a couple of weeks off at the end of this season, however the Premier League want to arrange the start of next – whether we're in the Champions League, how far into it or not," he said.

"[Kante] will use that little refreshment break, then work in pre-season. When you get a few injuries in your career, particularly when you're in your mid-20s, maybe you see things differently and you have to maintain yourself slightly differently.

"N'Golo is certainly buying into that so I think that will help too."

Kante's latest absence is likely to mean a return for Jorginho against Palace.

The Italy midfielder was a mainstay before lockdown, although he has been an unused substitute for Chelsea's past three Premier League games.

Nevertheless, Lampard insists he has no problem with Jorginho's efforts.

"Jorginho has to do nothing different," he said. "He trains well, he shows me that he's good for the group on and off the pitch. He's vice-captain of the club.

"There's nothing different, it's purely my choice at the moment, with what I see from the games in front of me, how I like the makeup of my midfield to be.

"Sometimes it's affected by the other players that are in that midfield, whether I think we need more defensive attributes in the game.

"He doesn't need to do anything. It's purely my choice."

Chelsea will be without N'Golo Kante for Tuesday's Premier League trip to Crystal Palace after the France midfielder sustained a hamstring strain.

Kante is also likely to be absent from the Blues' weekend assignment at Sheffield United, although head coach Frank Lampard does not expect his absence to extend much further due to the injury being "low level".

"Kante won't be in the squad, he hurt his hamstring," he told a pre-match news conference.

"It's a low-level hamstring [injury], so we're hoping it is a week or so.

"We'll play that one as it goes but I would expect we'd be very lucky to have him for Sheffield United."

Mateo Kovacic returned to training following an Achilles problem on Monday but the visit to Selhurst Park comes too soon for the Croatia international.

It means Jorginho is set to resume duties at the base of Chelsea's midfield – a position he made his own under Lampard and predecessor Maurizio Sarri until the Premier League resumption last month.

The former Napoli star has been an unused substitute for the Blues' last three matches having not featured in the matchday squad for the 2-1 comeback win at Aston Villa – one of three "Project Restart" victories, which leave Lampard's men fourth, a point behind Leicester City and two better off than Manchester United in a knife-edge battle for the Champions League places.

"He has been very professional about it," Lampard said of Jorginho. "He wants to play as every player does.

"One of the hardest parts of the job is telling a player who is not playing, or picking a squad and leaving out players. Particularly when they are training well and Jorginho always trains well.

"But he has handled it professionally and that's what I would expect. It is important for players in a long season, with the competitive squad that we have, that they are there to support players when they are out, and he has done that.

"So we will see with my selection tomorrow. I don't want to go into the personal details of positional and tactical. I just have to pick a team as I see best. They are just my choices."

Lampard hopes that positive attitude extends to his whole squad when it comes to the pressure of sealing a top-four place – something he insists Chelsea's players should relish with five top-flight games remaining.

"I like to think they are not ignoring what's around them. Football is on TV more than ever," he added, reflecting on the Premier League's rebooted schedule.

"I expect them to buy into that and want to see what results are happening around us. I think that's human nature and on a sporting level I think that means you care and want to see what's happening.

"I think then there needs to be a slight switch off to focus on what's happening to yourself. We can't control the other games, although we are certainly interested in them, but we can control what we do.

"So it can fire you up to see what happens around you. The position we are in means it is in our own hands and that's the main thing. We need to focus on putting on the best performance when we train and play."

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