Frank Lampard praised Hakim Ziyech's start to his Chelsea career as "remarkable" after the forward's starring role in the 4-1 win over Sheffield United.

The Blues recovered after conceding for the first time in 459 minutes in all competitions through David McGoldrick's ninth-minute effort to keep pace at the top of the Premier League table.

Goals from Tammy Abraham, Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva and Timo Werner ensured a victory that puts Chelsea a point behind leaders Southampton and second-placed Liverpool.

Ziyech had a hand in three of the goals at Stamford Bridge, supplying two assists, and creating a game-high six chances.

The former Ajax man created the most chances of any player in the league this season, and Lampard is particularly impressed with how he has adapted given the 2019-20 Eredivisie season was abandoned back in April.

"We played against [Ziyech] in the Champions League last year - he's a top-class player," Lampard told Sky Sports. "He impresses you even more when you work with him.

"The Dutch league finished a long time ago, then he had an injury so to hit the ground running like he has, he has been remarkable.

"He will be a big player for us. I need players who can come in and lift the level. That's hard. The midfield were great with their driving runs."

Chelsea boss Lampard was impressed with his side's response to going behind, adding: "Sheffield United are a really strong team.

"They are really good at putting you under pressure. We didn't deal with it brilliantly but the reaction from the team for the rest of the game was spot on."

The Premier League appeared to revert back to the norm this weekend as five of the big six claimed victories and Liverpool climbed to the top of the table for the first time this season.

In doing so, the Reds became the first English top-flight club to top the division having conceded the outright highest number of goals of any side since Norwich City in November 1992.

Erstwhile pacesetters Everton and Aston Villa both lost for the second game running, to Newcastle United and Southampton respectively, while Manchester United's poor start to the domestic campaign continued with defeat to Arsenal.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side are stuck on seven points after six matches, making this their worst start to the season since David Moyes' brief spell in charge in 2the 13-14 season, when they went on to finish seventh.

With the help of Opta, we take a look at some of the more unusual stats to have emerged over the weekend.


BALE'S LONG WAIT

After a slow start to life back at Tottenham following his loan switch from Real Madrid, Gareth Bale showed what he is capable of with his headed goal against Brighton and Albion.

The Wales international scored what proved to be the winner exactly 200 seconds after being brought off the bench by Jose Mourinho, coming seven years and 166 days after his previous goal for the club in May 2013.

That gap of 2,724 days is not the longest between Premier League goals, though, with Matt Jackson holding claim to that particular honour.

Jackson went an incredible 4,935 days between his last goal for Everton in May 1993 and first in the league for Wigan Athletic 13 years later.

Also high up on the list is Leeds United forward Rodrigo, who netted against Manchester City last month, some 3,559 days after scoring for Bolton Wanderers against Wigan.

 

SALAH CONTINUES PENALTY STREAK

Mohamed Salah's penalty may have been a controversial one in Liverpool's win over West Ham, but there was never any doubt about the outcome of where the spot-kick would end up.

That is the 13th penalty in a row the Egypt international has buried for Liverpool during a run of 18 successful spot-kicks on the spin in all competitions for the Reds.

Sixteen of those have come in the Premier League, though the reigning champions still have some way to go to match the all-time record of 29 scored in a row by Southampton - a run spanning some 17 years.

As for the worst such streak, Leicester City failed to score from six in a row between August 1994 and September 1996.

 

UNITED SLOW OFF THE MARK... AGAIN

Sunday's 1-0 loss to Arsenal leaves United with only two wins from their opening six matches and languishing in the lower reaches of the division.

Solskjaer pointed out after the game it took his side 10 games to reach three wins last season when going on to finish a respectable third, behind Liverpool and Manchester City.

That was also the case in 2014-15 when recovering to finish in a Champions League spot.

At the other end of the spectrum, United have won eight of their first 10 matches on three occasions - in 1993-94, 2006-07 and 2012-13, finishing as champions each time.

 

ZIYECH UP AND RUNNING

Hakim Ziyech scored on his full debut for Chelsea in the Champions League win over Krasnodar and did likewise on his first Premier League start in Saturday's routine 3-0 win over Burnley.

The Morocco international also set up Timo Werner to become the first player to both score and assist on his full debut in the competition since Ruben Neves in August 2018.

He is the third African player to ever do so, along with Salah and Dame N'Doye, who it is fair to say have had contrasting careers in England's top flight.

Salah has since scored 82 goals and assisted 29 in 128 Premier League appearances, compared to six and one respectively for N'Doye during spells with Hull City and Sunderland.

Ziyech has a long way to go to match Salah's return but he has certainly made a bright start to his career with the London club.

 

INGS-CREDIBLE FROM RANGE

Danny Ings continued his fine form in front of goal with another sublime long-range strike to put Southampton four goals up in their 4-3 win against Aston Villa - the Villans falling just short of producing a remarkable comeback.

The England international, who later hobbled off with a knee injury that does not appear to be too serious, has now bagged 27 goals since the start of last season in the Premier League.

Only Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy (29) has scored more during that time, while no player has scored more from outside the box - Ings' five goals putting him level with James Maddison and Kevin De Bruyne.

Christian Pulisic will have to undergo a scan to assess an injury sustained during the warm-up ahead of Chelsea's 3-0 win over Burnley, Frank Lampard has confirmed.

Timo Werner was drafted into the starting line-up after Pulisic, who scored a hat-trick in the corresponding fixture last season, tweaked his hamstring prior to kick-off on Saturday.

Chelsea were unfazed by the United States international's absence, with Hakim Ziyech netting the opener to become their first player since Diego Costa in 2014 to score in each of his first two starts in all competitions.

Kurt Zouma powered in his third Premier League goal of the season – already a career-best tally – before Ziyech teed up Werner to round off the scoring with 20 minutes remaining.

The injury to Pulisic, who came on as a second-half substitute in the 4-0 win over Krasnodar on Wednesday, was the only sour note for Chelsea, but though he was confident it would not mean a long spell on the sidelines, Lampard could not give any guarantees. 

"Christian had a small sensation in his hamstring. So, we had to pull him," Lampard told a news conference.

"He couldn't play the game and he felt that in part of the warm-up. We will have to scan it.

"He is frustrated as he got fit and we rested him in the week where he comes on and scores. He is so keen to do well for us but we have to scan him and see how it is, so I can’t give you a time on that."

Chelsea have now kept clean sheets in back-to-back Premier League games for the first time since October 2018 and Lampard is pleased to see his team developing positively.

"It was a very complete performance. It's a tough place to come here and play, they make it very difficult," Lampard added.

"You know you have to defend your box well, you have to be very strong with the first and second balls. I wanted that to be one focus and the other to be to keep developing the way we play on the ball.

"That is what really pleased me today. Some of the passing and the movement in the team was very good. It feels like a nice step forward.

"I keep talking about the work we need to do, we are nowhere near the end of the road with that, so the performance was a really solid win. Certainly we have had good momentum from this week.

"I'm not going to jump and up and down after a win like this, but it was a really positive day."

Burnley failed to register a single shot on target against the Blues but Sean Dyche was frustrated his team were not awarded a penalty when Edouard Mendy and Ashley Barnes collided in the fifth minute.

"I think we started well. We should have had a penalty, but we know our record with penalties – I don't know what penalties are or aren't any more. I'm not remotely saying that would win us the game, but it would have given us a chance," said Dyche.

The Clarets have been awarded five penalties in the Premier League since the start of the 2017-18 season, the fewest of any ever-present team in that time.

He continued: "We're getting punished for everything. That's how it is, things go against you or feel like they're going against you.

"It's a challenge. The feeling that winning brings, the confidence it brings, it adds to what you're trying to achieve. There has to be a bit of realism – playing against these sides, top six sides, they can punish you, and they punished us today.

"I don't panic in general, to be honest. I don't think panicking will change anything. I think structure, organisation and hard work, that may change things."

Hakim Ziyech produced a stellar display as Chelsea overcame Burnley 3-0 in the Premier League on Saturday.

Injuries delayed Ziyech's introduction to the Chelsea team, but he followed up his goal in the 4-0 Champions League win over Krasnodar in midweek by registering the opener at Turf Moor.

Kurt Zouma had a couple of sloppy moments in the first half but there was no doubt about the powerful header he produced to double the visitors' lead in the 63rd minute.

Ziyech then teed up Timo Werner – who only started due to an injury Christian Pulisic sustained in the warm-up – to hand Burnley a fourth straight home Premier League defeat for the first time since April 2010.

Ashley Barnes collided with Edouard Mendy after lifting a shot over the goalkeeper and the crossbar in the fifth minute, though referee David Coote did not deem it worthy of a penalty.

Nor did the official point to the spot when Ben Chilwell was nudged out from under Reece James' cross by Josh Brownhill, with play continuing and Nick Pope having to tip a looping Tammy Abraham header behind.

After Kurt Zouma stopped Barnes punishing his error near the halfway line, Pope was caught out when Ziyech fired a low drive from the edge of the box through Dale Stephens' legs and into the bottom-right corner in the 26th minute.

James Tarkowski made an important intervention to deny Werner a tap-in before half-time, but he was lost at sea when Zouma rose to steer Mason Mount's corner into the net.

Burnley unravelled and after Ashley Westwood's cross-field ball was intercepted by James, Ziyech slid a pass through for Werner to put the game to bed in the 70th minute.

 

What does it mean? Lampard making strides with defence

Chelsea let in at least two against Liverpool, West Brom and Southampton this season but have now kept a clean sheet in each of their past four outings.

Their shutout at Old Trafford last weekend was just their second on their travels in the Premier League under Frank Lampard – they have now achieved back-to-back clean sheets on the road in the top flight for the first time since October 2018.

Mendy replacing Kepa Arrizabalaga has helped tighten things up, with the former Rennes keeper emulating club great Petr Cech, who, in August 2004, was the last Blues keeper to avoid conceding in each of his first three Premier League appearances.

Hakim the dream

Ziyech became the first Chelsea player since Diego Costa in 2014 to score in both of his first two starts in all competitions, but he also provided a display of the range of passing that makes him such a threat from the wing.

Toothless Clarets

Burnley delivered nine crosses from open play but failed to register a single shot on target. Of the five attempts they did muster, only one of them came from inside the box. Sean Dyche's side lack a cohesive plan going forward and a trip to Turf Moor no longer represents the tough challenge it used to.

What's next?

Chelsea are back in Champions League action at home to Rennes on Wednesday, while Burnley have a Premier League trip to Brighton and Hove Albion on Friday to look forward to.

Chelsea's Hakim Ziyech became the first player since Diego Costa in August 2014 to score on each of his first two starts for the club after he netted the opening goal against Burnley on Saturday.

The Morocco winger put Chelsea ahead midway through the first half of the Premier League fixture at Turf Moor when he wrong-footed goalkeeper Nick Pope with a low shot after being set up Tammy Abraham.

Ziyech had scored on his full Champions League debut on Wednesday with the third goal in Chelsea's 4-0 win over Russian side Krasnodar.

The 27-year-old signed a deal to join Chelsea from Ajax in February when he became Frank Lampard's first signing after the London club's transfer ban before linking up with his new team-mates later in the year.

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. 

Hakim Ziyech is willing to play wherever Chelsea boss Frank Lampard needs him after enduring a frustrating start to his career at Stamford Bridge.

The Moroccan playmaker has yet to start a game for the Blues since arriving from Ajax, though he has only just recovered from a knee injury suffered during a pre-season friendly.

With his move announced in February, the 27-year-old was the first signing of a busy transfer window for Lampard, who also added Timo Werner and Kai Havertz to bolster his attacking options.

Ziyech knows the competition for places will be fierce having been impressed by his fellow new additions, as well as "crazy" winger Christian Pulisic.

"I have two different options [over where to play], or maybe three. It depends on where the coach needs me," said Ziyech.

"For me, it doesn't matter where I'm playing. It's just the way that I love to play the game, it doesn't matter where I'm playing.

"Kai and Timo, they are two big talents and they already proved it in the past, what they did for their club before. Christian is also one of the biggest talents. They have enough quality.

"For Christian, he's already been here longer than us. If you see what he is capable of doing on the pitch, he's just a crazy winger.

"For me, it's really exciting to work with them. I can't wait to be on the pitch, fully fit, and just doing our things."

Ziyech has not started a game since March 7, with his Ajax career cut short when the the Eredivisie season was called off due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, he made his Chelsea debut off the bench in the 3-3 Premier League draw with Southampton last Saturday, followed by a cameo appearance in the Champions League clash with Sevilla in midweek.

"The season stopped last year for me a bit early, so I didn't play for a while," Ziyech said ahead of Sunday's trip to Manchester United, which could see him up against former Ajax team-mate Donny van de Beek.

"Like I have said before, the injury came at an unlucky time. For me, it's just important to get the rhythm back and to build up everything again.

"I know it will take some time but, for me, it couldn't be sooner. As soon as possible, but it is what is it is right now.

"It's most important to build again and come in with 100 per cent fitness, and that's what we're working on right now."

Donny van de Beek will bring quality to Manchester United if they give him enough time to settle, former Ajax team-mate Hakim Ziyech says.

The Red Devils signed the midfielder for an initial £34.7million (€39m) in September, but the 23-year-old has found playing time hard to come by at the start of his career in England.

His two starts have come in the EFL Cup against Luton Town and Brighton and Hove Albion, and he has managed only 60 minutes in total off the bench in the Premier League.

Van de Beek was also only a late substitute in Tuesday's 2-1 Champions League win at Paris Saint-Germain, with Fred and Scott McTominay preferred in central midfield behind Bruno Fernandes.

The Netherlands international, who recorded 40 goals and 29 assists in 133 games over his final three seasons at Ajax, has managed just one shot, one chance created and two passes into the attacking third in his short Premier League career.

 Ziyech, who has also struggled for game time – mostly due to fitness – since joining Chelsea from Ajax this year, says Van de Beek must "stay calm" and wait for his chance.

Speaking ahead of Chelsea's trip to United on Saturday, Ziyech said: "We spoke at the beginning when he moved to Manchester, and in the last [few] weeks, we didn't speak a lot. And I didn't speak with him about his situation.

"I think he will need time as well. You come from a different country, a different style of play. And I know for sure, it will take some time for him as well to get used to everything, and then I know for sure he will bring quality to the squad over there. For him, the most important [thing] right now is to stay calm."

Ziyech, who made his long-awaited Chelsea debut in the 3-3 draw with Southampton last week, also faces a battle to get a starting spot.

Chelsea spent in the region of £222m in the transfer window and Ziyech is now competing with Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount for a spot in Frank Lampard's attacking midfield positions.

"For us, it's everything new and we're excited to work with each other and the rest of the team, and bring each other competition," he said.

"I think it's good for everybody to make each other better, helping each other. I think that's the most important and for us now, when we arrived, it's time to improve and to perform for the things we came for."

Chelsea will be without Edouard Mendy against Southampton but head coach Frank Lampard is excited to have Hakim Ziyech available at last. 

Goalkeeper Mendy suffered a thigh injury on international duty with Senegal and will be unavailable for Saturday's game at Stamford Bridge. 

Lampard must now decide whether to start Kepa Arrizabalaga, who played in Spain's 0-0 friendly draw with Portugal, or veteran Willy Caballero. 

Thiago Silva will also miss out but there is better news in attack, with Christian Pulisic in line for his second league game of the season and Ziyech finally ready to be in the squad nearly three months after arriving from Ajax. 

"Mendy won't be fit for the match tomorrow," Lampard told reporters on Friday. "We hope the injury's not too long. 

"Thiago Silva, after his trip, he's not unfit but he's not ready to play the game because of the travelling and the game he played, so he won't be in the squad.  Ben Chilwell is in the squad, so he's got over some of the feeling which took him out of the England squad around the injury that he's had for a while.

"Christian Pulisic is in the squad and fit to play. Hakim Ziyech is in the squad, not fit to start but fit to participate some minutes, we hope. 

"He's worked so hard, he's been fantastic in terms of his professionalism to get fit and he looks really good in training. 

"It's match fitness. I've got a really open relationship with him to know where he's at and how I feel about it, so it's just game minutes we need now.

"But yes, of course, I'm excited to get him in and around it to bring what we brought him to the club for, which is to create chances for us, to be the talented player that we saw at Ajax and I look forward to seeing him play." 

Defender Antonio Rudiger is also vying for game time, having played all three of Germany's recent matches despite having not yet made an appearance for Chelsea this season. 

"Every player can play their way into the starting XI, the squad, that's in every player's hands," Lampard said. "That's how I try and work here: things I do are always for the best for the team, for the club, because we're trying to get results every week. 

"Players all know that and the beauty of the window now being shut is we can get to work, know what the squad is, everyone knows they can contribute, and we'll need them and rely on them because of the amount of games we play. 

"Toni's the same as every player on that one."

Christian Pulisic is nearing a return to action for Chelsea but Frank Lampard is wary of "overcooking" the winger and leaving him prone to injury. 

United States international Pulisic struggled with muscle issues in his first campaign at Stamford Bridge and missed two months at the start of the year with an abductor tear. 

The 22-year-old was impressive upon his return after lockdown, contributing five goals and two assists in all competitions. 

Pulisic is yet to feature this term after going off in the FA Cup final defeat to Arsenal with a hamstring injury in August, but Lampard said on Friday that a return is on the horizon. 

"No, Christian isn't ready for the squad, nor is Hakim Ziyech, but they're both training with us now, which is good news," he told the media ahead of Saturday's Premier League meeting with West Brom. 

"We hope to have them with us in proper match contention over the next week or two."

Lampard is keen to bide his time with Pulisic in particular, aiming to avoid any further injury setbacks when he eventually returns to action. 

"There's always a concern about a player's fitness when the history says there's been some injuries. Last season we did have them with Christian, I was questioned many times on him, when he did and didn't play," said Lampard. 

"Of course, when you look at a player with his recent record, you're trying to find the right balance of getting the best out of him, which we saw in big periods last year, and making sure you don't overcook him and leave him susceptible to injury, particularly with a player of his explosive pace and balance. It's a fine line. 

"We're working on that and Christian's also very open to that. He wants to play, he's so hungry to play and he's very nearly fit now, but it's certainly something we have to manage with him this season. 

"We've all seen the talent and it's something we want to get right. I'm not saying it's a fundamental, chronic issue because it's not, but we want to get as many minutes of Christian – the really great Christian that we saw lots of last season – on the pitch."

New signings Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell made their first Chelsea appearances in the 6-0 EFL Cup victory over Barnsley on Wednesday. 

While Lampard confirmed the pair could start at the Hawthorns, he is again wary of asking for too much too soon from players who are still working towards peak fitness. 

"I believe they are fit enough to start, but I do also have to take into consideration the fact that we play another game with a pretty tight turnaround on Tuesday, then another on Sunday, and then the international players will maybe go and play three games for their country, so I'm managing that one," he said. 

"Having come through that game the other day as they did, I think particularly Thiago did start that game and had 60 minutes in the bank, so that was good to see. 

"With Ben, I'll maybe be a little more cautious just to make sure, his injury's been a bit of a challenging one, so I'll make those calls. But they're in a good place at the moment."

Hakim Ziyech's official Chelsea debut will have to wait for at least a couple of weeks after Frank Lampard confirmed the new signing has a knee injury.

Media reports began circulating on Wednesday suggesting Morocco international Ziyech was a doubt for Monday's trip to Brighton and Hove Albion for the Blues' Premier League opener.

Ziyech arrived from Ajax in pre-season after a £33.3million deal had been agreed last term, with the forward boosting his reputation in 2018-19 after a number of impressive performances en route to the Champions League semi-finals.

But Chelsea fans will have to wait a bit longer to see him in competitive action, as Lampard confirmed the reports he has sustained an injury.

Ziyech's fellow new signings Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell are also not yet ready for their debuts.

"Ziyech took an injury to his knee in the friendly against Brighton and he won't be fit," Lampard said in Thursday's pre-match news conference.

"We are working on him and hope it will only be a matter of weeks, a couple of weeks, we hope, but we'll have to wait and see on that.

"Chilwell is working towards fitness. He won't be fit for Brighton. He has developed and improved this week and going in the right direction, which is good news for us.

"Thiago Silva is in London but won't be training until the weekend, so I doubt very much that he's in contention for the Brighton game.

"Out of the new ones, that's where we are at. Billy Gilmour is a longer-term injury, but other than that we are in decent shape."

Regarding Cesar Azpilicueta and Christian Pulisic, who were both forced off in the FA Cup final defeat to Arsenal in August, Lampard added: "I missed them off earlier – yes, I am certainly very happy to have them both back.

"Yesterday [Wednesday] was their first day fully training with the team, so they're in contention for Monday.

"I have to be careful and I have a squad to pick from, but the way they're training and their attitude to come back, it looks like they are over their injuries. I just have to make sure I manage them both back in their own ways."

Jesper Olsen said there is "no doubt" Hakim Ziyech will be a success for Frank Lampard's Chelsea after leaving Dutch giants Ajax.

Ziyech is preparing for his first season in the Premier League following his £33.3million arrival at Stamford Bridge from Ajax in July.

The Morocco international winger, who provided at least 10 assists in each of his six previous campaigns in Amsterdam, impressed in his first appearance for Chelsea as the Blues drew 1-1 against Brighton and Hove Albion in last week's friendly.

Olsen, who won back-to-back Eredivisie titles and the KNVB Cup during his time with Ajax between 1981 and 1984 before joining Manchester United, told Stats Perform News: "There's no doubt he will be a success at Chelsea.

"I think Frank Lampard has done a really good job. He knows the club inside out. Seems to be very good in terms of management and playing style. This is the important thing, he wants to attack and play offensive football. That will not be a problem [for Ziyech].

"The players coming out of Ajax, they are like that. Being a defender or midfielder, you are attacking-minded. No doubt about that."

Meanwhile, former Denmark international Olsen's countryman Christian Eriksen has endured a difficult start to life at Inter.

Eriksen swapped Tottenham for Antonio Conte's Inter in January, however, the Danish star was unable to establish himself in the starting line-up.

Of Eriksen's 17 Serie A appearances, only eight of them were starts as Inter finished second behind champions Juventus, while he only started two of the club's six Europa League fixtures en route to the final.

"I'm sure a big change from the Premier League," Olsen – a 43-time Denmark international winger – said. "London and then you go to Milan, a fantastic place. A very good team as well. I'm sure the way they do things is different to how they did things at Tottenham.

"It takes time I'm sure to settle in. Christian can play in any team really. He is probably one of those players you sometimes don't notice as much but he always does his job. Always solid and you can rely on him. I'm sure he will come good.

"He is probably happy the season has come to an end so he can get to know the place a bit better and to settle in for the new season. The way he is as a player, I'm sure he will come good."

Real Madrid are facing a tough challenge to overturn their Champions League deficit to Manchester City, football legend Clarence Seedorf says.

Zinedine Zidane's side head to the Etihad Stadium for Friday's last-16 second leg trailing 2-1 from the reverse fixture at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Madrid are unbeaten since returning from the coronavirus-enforced break and such form allowed them to overhaul Barcelona to win the LaLiga title.

City, by contrast, finished 18 points behind runaway champions Liverpool in the Premier League and were knocked out of the FA Cup by Arsenal.

Seedorf, a European champion with Ajax, Madrid and AC Milan - twice with the Rossoneri - expects City to be keen to prove a point after an "average" domestic season.

"I think when Zidane came [back], he got that chemistry back in place and after corona, I think Madrid came out solid, when Barcelona came out a bit segregated," he told Stats Perform News.

"Obviously, when the club with players like [Sergio] Ramos and [Karim] Benzema smell the opportunity against that rival then that creates a motivation that they used and brought it home.

"Ramos and Benzema have been key, key players but, as I said, the whole team has shown a pretty solid shape.

"If you look at them without the results they have now, they are considered definitely [among] the favourites, Manchester City as well - these are two top teams in the world.

"It's going to be tough to go there and turn it around, but nothing is impossible in that sense. But also, Manchester City need to make up for the average season, if you can call it that.

"They can do it, but it's tough."

Barcelona, meanwhile, will need to improve their performance to overcome Napoli and reach the quarter-finals, after a 1-1 draw in Italy.

Much is expected of midfielder Frenkie de Jong, a €75million signing from Ajax last year who has yet to find his feet fully in Spain.

"He's a great player, a great talent and we hope to see much more from him over the coming years," said Seedorf.

"It's not easy to come to a new country and new club and perform. Barcelona... it's a privilege to come to a team that knows themselves so well, and you come into the same type of system.

"Frenkie will become better and better hopefully over the next years and we can enjoy his talent on the international pitches."

Similarly, Seedorf thinks new Chelsea signing Hakim Ziyech could find it tough to adapt to life in a new league - although he believes head coach Frank Lampard is the right man to help.

"Lampard has shown to have had a good, positive impact on the team and young players," Seedorf said. "Ziyech is a talent that will face challenges, because this is not the Ajax style of play, the Dutch style of play, and that's going to be his biggest challenge, I think: to adapt to a new style of play and everything that comes with it.

"But he has a proper mentor in place to guide him to the Premier League style and competitiveness that is needed. I think the ingredients are there for him to continue to spread his talent on the pitch and show that this next level was the right thing to do."

Bayer Leverkusen will be powerless to resist selling Kai Havertz to Chelsea if the Blues' billionaire owner Roman Abramovich wants the German at Stamford Bridge, according to the Premier League club's former manager Avram Grant.

Havertz, 21, has been a revelation in the Bundesliga ever since making his breakthrough as a 17-year-old in the 2016-17 campaign.

The midfielder, who has been played in an increasingly attack-minded role over the past two years, has scored 29 Bundesliga goals since the start of the 2018-19 campaign, while his haul of 12 this term was added to with six assists.

Already a Germany international, Havertz is widely expected to leave Leverkusen in the coming weeks, with Chelsea said to be his most likely destination.

The financial implications of the coronavirus pandemic, combined with Chelsea's recent deals for Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner, have led to suggestions the club might not be willing to meet Leverkusen's apparent €78million (£70m) asking price.

But Grant, a friend of Abramovich and a former Chelsea manager, thinks the Blues will sign anyone if the owner wants them.

Speaking to Stats Perform News, Grant said: "Abramovich didn't have a problem with money before! When he wants something, he buys it.

"He doesn't do things to save money. Whether they have more or less money, I don't think it's important.

"What I think is important is that they started to use the academy. They spent so much money on it and they didn't give anyone a chance [before]. My policy at Chelsea was that we wanted one third of the squad as under-21 players, because you cannot invest a lot into the academy and not give them a chance.

"Now, not as a policy, they gave them a chance, and Frank has done a great job. Michael Emenalo, a director, was always complaining that we invested a lot of money in them [academy players] but we don't give them a chance.

"When you have a good young player, they can develop a lot and there are a lot of good talents at Chelsea, and we're in a good phase for the coming years.

"With a good signing they can compete with Liverpool or Man City. [Havertz] has the quality. We need to wait and see [if he's the one to bridge the gap]."

The signings of Ziyech and Werner, from Ajax and RB Leipzig respectively, have been widely applauded, particularly given they were both secured well before the conclusion of the season.

But Grant did urge caution, highlighting that many big signings in a short period does not always guarantee success.

"On paper they look like good signings and that they can make the team stronger, but we need to wait and see," Grant said. "We've seen years ago, Tottenham bought a lot of players but they bought too much and many didn't perform well - eventually Harry Redknapp saved them and did a very good job.

"I think you need to be careful when you sign a player, whether they will be good for the squad, but I'm sure they've checked this. It's not only about quality."

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