Chelsea are turning into a different kind of beast this season under Frank Lampard.
Last season we would often witness the struggles and frustrations as Lampard’s side bossed games but struggled to finish teams off.AP:Associated PressChelsea eased their way to a 2-0 win over Newcastle with Tammy Abraham scoring the second goal[/caption]
As is becoming a regular feature in the Premier League, the ‘lesser’ teams often choose to play with a very low defensive block, making it hard for even the top sides to break them down.
They will sit deep and put numbers behind the ball, very rarely over-committing to try and win it back.
It can work a treat for sides trying to grind out results and nick a win.
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We saw it be successful on many occasions last season when teams could not match up man-to-man in terms of quality.
Chelsea were often one of the teams on the receiving end of the low-block tactic.
Add that to their problems at the back and having one of the leakiest defences in the league, their progress was stunted.
This afternoon’s 2-0 win against Newcastle proved Lampard has now found the key to unlocking low-block defences – and that is a dangerous sign for the rest of the Premier League.
Newcastle were stubborn at the back as expected, but Chelsea won the game comfortably and got the goals needed to win without too much pressure.
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It could have and should have been three or four goals from Chelsea if they had taken some of their easier chances in the first half.
But even with that said, you never really felt a sense of panic; you just knew that the next decisive goal was on its way.
Last season you didn’t get that feeling.
Lampard has added some top-quality attacking signings, and although not all of them were on show today, the likes of Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech showed exactly why they have been brought in – to break down defences and create and score goals.
Chelsea have now gone top of the table, and they didn’t even really have to get out of second gear to do so.
They controlled the game as they did on many occasions last season, but this time they scored the important goals to win the game.
With their defence now also looking a lot more solid this season, they are really putting themselves in the hat for a chance of winning the league, which simply cannot be ignored now.
Lampard has addressed his two most important issues from last season, and not only has he addressed it – he has near perfected it.