Frank Lampard insisted that Reece James was ‘fantastic’ on his Premier League debut against ‘one of the best wingers’ in the league as Chelsea defeated Crystal Palace 2-0.
Chelsea’s all-time top goal scorer and manager claimed every game in the Premier League is a test for his side especially against an organised team like Crystal Palace.
The 41-year-old continued by declaring that he was satisfied with the victory although he felt his side could have scored more had they been more clinical.
Lampard finished boasting about the quality and performance of James on his Premier League debut against ‘one of the best wingers in the league’.
‘Every game in the Premier League is hard…’
Chelsea waltzed away 2-0 victors over Crystal Palace to claim all three points which saw Tammy Abraham and Christian Pulisic find the back of the net.
The Blues failed to make their chances in front of goal pay and the first half remained goalless. Chelsea’s ball retention and persistence breaking forward frustrated Palace but the visitors held on until the break.
Chelsea flew out the blocks and scored inside ten minutes of the restart. Willian’s lavish flick found the run of Tammy Abraham who guided the ball into the bottom corner making it ten in the league. Pulisic then doubled the Blues’ lead soon after the arrival of Michy Batshuayi.
Lampard was patient but also confident his side would find a breakthrough and claimed the increase in intensity proved decisive.
“Every game in the Premier League is hard, particularly against a team as well organised as Palace are", Lampard began.
“The first half, we started really well, a goal probably would have put us in a really good position, but we didn’t get it. We allowed the tempo to drop slightly towards the end of the first half.
"But we came out for the second half with the intent we did and the extra 10 per cent of urgency in our game. I wouldn’t say we won the game comfortably, but 2-0 is relatively comfortable.
"It could have probably been more with a bit more end product, but it was a nice solid win with a clean sheet.”
‘Reece did brilliantly’
James was handed his Premier League debut by Lampard having scored the all-important equaliser in the Champions League off the bench against Ajax mid-week.
Lampard boasted about how he contained with ‘one of the best wingers in the league’ in Wilfried Zaha.
“Reece was fantastic against one of the best wingers in the league one v one, Zaha is a real threat, especially on the counter-attack. Reece dealt with most of those situations and he also joined in on the attack,” said Lampard.
“You can see how comfortable he is with the ball at his feet and his delivery and passing. I was pleased and I trust in Reece.
"Out of all the younger players who have been getting their chance this year, he’s had his injury earlier in the season and has got fit that little bit later, but he’s been training at a level and coming on at a level where he deserved minutes today. So he did brilliantly.”