Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has revealed he was surprised with how well Chelsea have been playing under Frank Lampard despite still awaiting a first win this season.
The Blues, who are under a two-window transfer ban imposed by Fifa after breaching rules related to signing youth players, started their 2019/20 campaign at Old Trafford before entertaining Liverpool in Uefa’s Super Cup final.
Despite a promising start away to Manchester United, the five-time Premier League champions became the architects of their own downfall in a humbling 4-0 loss to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men.
They were again on the front-foot against Liverpool, with N’Golo Kanté – who came on for the final 17 minutes in Manchester – earning widespread reviews, but they couldn’t triumph in the penalty shoot-out required after the game ended 2-2.
As much as these defeats were painful for Lampard, who succeeded current Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri in the summer, he can be content with their performances especially as the club’s record goalscorer is bedding in a number of academy graduates.
Someone watching from afar who has been taken aback with how well they’ve played is Guardiola, who not long ago managed a Barcelona side which took on a Chelsea team featuring Lampard.
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“I’m really impressed with how Chelsea played in the games with tough teams in United and Liverpool,” he told reporters.
“They didn’t win but I was really surprised with how good Frank Lampard’s team played.
Lampard’s biggest challenge: Five key things to know…
- Frank Lampard is Chelsea’s all-time record scorer (211 goals).
- During a 13-year association with the Blues he lifted three Premier League titles, the Champions League and Europa League among other silverware.
- The Englishman retired from playing in 2016 and before turning to management with Derby County in 2018.
- Lampard guided the Rams to the Championship play-off final, though they’d lose 2-0 to Aston Villa.
- He’s the 10th different permanent manager under Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.