Lampard: Clean sheet is big deal, Thiago Silva big plus, Mendy no.1

In the corresponding fixture last time around his side lost at home to another Spanish side, Valencia, and he remembers the effect of that defeat and the pressure it put us under to get through the group, even though we eventually did. That contrast with this season, and the way team responded to the defensive failings seen in the weekend’s 3-3 draw with Valencia, are why Lampard considers this latest draw a positive result.

‘I was pleased with the professional element to it,’ he said. ‘I spoke to the players about game management, and the Southampton game was a hit for us, and the reaction today was a really positive one.

‘Seville are a top team in European football, of that there is no doubt, and the concentration and the focus you need in the Champions League to get a clean sheet was big from the team. The decisions we made when we defended well, the decisions we made when we played longer as opposed to keeping possession, there were a lot of good ones and it is a nice base for us to build from.
 

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Match Report: Chelsea 0 Sevilla 0

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Mendy; James, Thiago Silva, Zouma, Chilwell; Jorginho (c) (Kovacic 64), Kante; Pulisic (Hudson-Odoi 90+1), Havertz, Mount (Ziyech 61); Werner (Abraham 90+1).
Unused subs Kepa, Caballero, Azpilicueta, Tomori, Rudiger, Christensen, Emerson, Giroud.
Booked Jorginho 14, Mount 36, Chilwell 64

Sevilla (4-3-3): Bono; Navas (c), Gomez (Jordan 33), Carlos, Acuna; Rakitic (Vazquez 80), Fernando, Gudelj; Suso (Oliver 58), De Jong (En-Nesyri 80), Ocampos.
Unused subs Vaclik, Rekik, Escudero, Oscar, Fernandez, Munir.
Booked Acuna 43, Jordan 87

Referee
Davide Massa from Italy
 

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Celebrating Black History Month

As part of this it is important to recognise and celebrate the diverse past, present and future of the club. In Black History Month, with a collection of words and video, we mark the contribution of some of our black players to the success of our club.

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck says: ‘Through the work of Chelsea Foundation and Building Bridges, our campaign to celebrate diversity and inclusion across the club, Chelsea FC has for many years supported Black History Month. We are very aware many players of black heritage have been writing – and continue to write – our own club’s history, which will be remembered for decades to come. To continue our support for Black History Month, we are pleased to showcase some of that history here.’

Visit our Celebrating Black History Month page to read about current squad members from our men’s and women’s teams, superstars of the past, those who were important firsts, and to watch video of history makers, innovators and players who have risen through the ranks.

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Azpilicueta ready for Champions League challenge

However, one of the areas Azpilicueta wants to see improvement in is our ability to defend as a team and be more ruthless in closing out games when we need to.

‘What is very clear is that if we want to improve and fight for everything we have to improve the defensive side and obviously this is a problem that we have to fix collectively and individually, because when you concede so many goals, one day you can get away with it and you can score four goals but you cannot rely on every single game to score four goals.

‘I think it’s key moving forward and we have to start getting this consistency of winning games, of not conceding goals.

‘When you have the solidity defensively I think it gives a boost for the whole team. I always see football as a collective. When we don’t score goals I try to see even as a defender, how we can put our dangerous players, attacking players, in better positions, because sometimes they don’t get the service that they should get. And as a defender I feel bad when you concede as many goals, but sometimes we have to improve our personal mistakes that have been an issue and also collectively sometimes we have to take decisions and say “we all defend together right now”.

‘Through the season you’re not going to be playing beautiful football every single day and winning 4-0, even if it’s what we wish. When we can’t, at the end of the day it doesn’t matter your position, we must do this to win the game because football is about results.’

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Lampard addresses defensive issues and sets out plan

Lampard acknowledged that is not good enough for a team wishing to challenge towards the top end of the table, but he also pointed out that some of our defensive numbers are more impressive, and perhaps more enlightening.

‘I’m aware of that stat,’ started Lampard, ‘and the other stat I’m aware of since I have been here is that we have conceded the second-fewest shots in the Premier League, behind Manchester City.

‘It helps to sometimes narrow down some of the issues. The issues are we don’t concede many shots on our goal, but when we do we concede goals.

‘It’s something we’re aware of when we look at recruitment, and more importantly you’re aware when you work every day on the pitch with the players to make sure we are set up well.

‘We want to concede less, as do all teams at the moment. There are teams in the Premier League that are conceding a lot of goals at the moment, we are all in a similar position to a degree. It will always be something we work on, as much as we do our attacking play.

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Lampard: Players must be focused for ‘cut-throat’ Champions League

For a number of Blues, last season’s Champions League campaign offered them their first taste of elite European football. Our run ended at the round of 16 stage, as we were emphatically beaten over two legs by eventual winners Bayern Munich.

After a late finish to that tournament because of the coronavirus pandemic, a late start to the next begins with the Europa League winners’ trip to Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night.

‘The players that were here last year, and talking about the young players particularly in the Bayern Munich games because of the strong opposition, it would have been a learning curve for them,’ noted Lampard.

‘That’s the Champions League; it’s the top club competition in world football. They will be better for it; they will want to improve this year in that. We will see how much they have learned.

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Fikayo Tomori explains his decision to stay at Chelsea and praises Thiago Silva impact

‘In the small pre-season we had I was talking a lot with my agent and the club, to get some clarity on what was going on,’ added Tomori.

‘With transfers I prefer if it wasn’t last minute, but situations happen where you have to take a decision quickly.

‘I made the decision in the end to stay, to improve more, try and get in the team, play some more games, gain some more experience, and try and get to the levels I was at last season.’

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Chelsea vs Sevilla pre-match press conference and how to follow the game

Chelsea vs Sevilla live stream

The match will be broadcast live on BT Sport 3 in the UK. 

Chelsea TV’s matchday programming is on the 5th Stand, Facebook Live and our official YouTube channel with three live shows: pre-match, half-time and post match.

Chelsea vs Sevilla live commentary

There will be live text commentary updates on the 5th Stand app and this website, as well as updates on our @chelseafc Twitter account.

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Watch highlights of Chelsea’s high-scoring draw against Southampton

Frank Lampard’s side raced into a 2-0 lead and looked impressive in the first half but conceded right before half-time and then relinquished control of the contest after the restart. Even though Havertz put us back in front, the concession of a stoppage-time equaliser left the Blues deflated and dejected. Click here to read our report on the game.

Reaction to the performance from Hakim Ziyech, who made his Blues debut as a substitute, can be watched below.

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Lampard disappointed not to take all three points and wants more game management, but pleased with first half and Werner performance

Despite being the better team in the opening 45 minutes and going in at the break ahead, we were unable to hold our advantage and eventually succumbed to a late equaliser after retaking the lead, with the match ending 3-3.

Having come so close to taking all three points, there was obviously an element of frustration for Lampard that his players weren’t able to see out the game with their lead intact, having performed so well in the first half.

‘I’m frustrated and the players are,’ he said. ‘They would be because the first half was as good as we’ve played this season. We played some great football, got two goals, could have had more.

‘When you concede before half-time you know that changes the tone of the game a lot. And then we got 3-2 up and we concede again late on from a free-kick. It’s disappointing. You want to pick up the points at home against teams like Southampton, but you have to respect that they’re a very good team that can make it very difficult for you. And when they made it difficult in the second half we could have certainly dealt with it better.

‘They were the better side in the second half and on the flip side we were much better in the first half, when I think we could have really put the game beyond Southampton with more goals, but we conceded late on which can happen.’

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