Frank Lampard thanked his Chelsea players for backing his “brave” tactics in their win over Tottenham.
Lampard switched to a back three to combat his former manager Jose Mourinho, and it paid off, as Chelsea earned a 2-0 win thanks to a double from Willian.
And the former midfielder says that his players’ acceptance of the system and adaptability shows something about their character.
“It means a lot to me but it’s about the club and the fans,” Lampard said. “The fans have come here after a number of losses and they have backed us. They know we are a young team and what we are trying to achieve.
“My players showed they could fight and play against a top team, because Tottenham are a good team. Today we were everything that’s why we should be celebrating. We are not over excited but we are pleased with the performance.
“They are a major rival and it shows the players what they can do under pressure and what they need to do to survive in games. You cannot fault their commitment.
“When you play with a three at the back, it’s not easy – especially here. You have to be brave and they are all that.”
The game was not without its fair share of controversy, with Son Heung-Min being sent off for kicking out at Antonio Rudiger – and the latter being the subject of alleged racist abuse.
Lampard said that Tottenham should have had another red card as well as Son, with Paulo Gazzaniga having committed a foul that led to the penalty for Chelsea’s second, while condemning the racism that followed.
“I think the penalty should have been a red card, he has flown at him. I don’t think he means to do it so I can understand why it is not, it is probably fair.
“The Son incident was a red card, he acted out and that is a red card no matter how hard.”
On the allegations of racism that occurred late in the game, prompting announcements over the speakers, Lampard explained: “My understanding is that there was a racist comment or gesture. I know Antonio reported it to Cesar [Azpilicueta] out on the pitch.
“They are now talking to the officials and going through the right procedure. No matter what stadium it is in, we do not want that in the game.”
Read more: Jose Mourinho was keen to shift the focus away from the refereeing decisions and towards his opponent’s performance as Tottenham lost 2-0 to Chelsea.
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