Benitez hails Lampard after Blues victory

Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez said Frank Lampard’s ability to pass the ball and retain possession was vital in Chelsea’s victory over Swansea.

The England midfielder came on as a 24th-minute substitute for Ramires and scored his 201st Chelsea goal to move to within one of Bobby Tambling’s club record of 202.

Benitez said: “He was important for us. He is a good player who has quality, so when you are controlling and have possession he can have an influence like today.

Frank Lampard of Chelsea.
Lampard scored from the penalty spot.

“Frank is a great player and I am really pleased because he scored another goal.

“Hopefully he can score five more before the end of the season and he will be much happier.”

With Lampard’s contract soon to expire, he could be running out of time to break Tambling’s record.

But Benitez said the player understands the rotation policy at the club as the Blues look to secure Champions League football and win the Europa League.

“He is a great professional so is always training and really focused,” Benitez said.

“He wants to play more games but understands that the main thing is the team and we need to qualify for the Champions League.”

The Spaniard added: “To score two goals and keep a clean sheet at this stage of the season, with so many games, and to play very good football in attack with good combinations, we are very pleased.

“We could have scored a third goal and finished the game but we didn’t. Swansea were a little bit of a threat but we got three points and we have to be pleased.”



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