Frank Lampard has praised Thiago Silva for his role in Chelsea’s 0-0 draw against Sevilla at Stamford Bridge, which helped end a run of poor defensive displays.
Amid mounting pressure for an improved defensive display, the former PSG defender stepped in alongside Kurt Zouma, Reece James and a pair of fellow new signings in goalkeeper Edouard Mendy and Ben Chilwell.
After being involved in each of Chelsea’s three clean sheets this season, Lampard praised the experienced defender and said he would manage his minutes to get the best out of him in the coming months.
“I thought he was very good today,” Lampard said in his post-match press conference. “I spoke about quality and experience before the game and he brought both of those and it affects others around him, which I think he did.
“He was a big plus in terms of getting the clean sheet. Over the season, I will manage him and I have a very close relationship with him already even if he uses a translator.
“I will always work closely with him and I remember being in the same position myself towards the end of my career, in the last year in the Premier League. So I will be very aware of maintenance training and his selection as we want him to play as many games as we can to be at his optimum level.”
Indeed, the defensive display was about more than just the defenders, as the midfielders and the forwards produced in a more cautious set up that shut out Julen Lopetegui’s side.
That approach did dampen some creativity and fluidity in the team, leading to just six shots during the match, but Lampard was happy overall after setting up to frustrate.
“Yes, I think it is a positive result, we felt what it was like last season when we lost the first game and the pressure to get out of the group which we did,” Lampard said. “So I understand the importance of the first game against quality opposition.
“The clean sheet was a big deal for us today because they can give you a lot of problems. They play a physical way, a distinct style which made them hard to press and we matched them. I feel the two teams slightly worked each other out.
“I was pleased with that professional element to it after I spoke to the players about game management. I did say it the other day with where we are at and with new players coming in who are trying to feel the way that we want to play.
“I feel when you are playing in real-time without much time to train, that the Southampton game was a hit to us. I thought today was a really positive one as Sevilla are a top team in European football, there’s no doubt about it.
“The concentration and focus you need to get a result, to get a clean sheet tonight, was big for the team. The decisions they made when they defended well, the decisions to play longer rather than keep possession, the decisions were good tonight so it is a really nice place to build from.”
Source : goal.com