Lampard explains decision to leave out Abraham against Aston Villa

Frank Lampard says Olivier Giroud was given a starting place at Aston Villa as a reward for impressing in training.

Giroud impressed before the season was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic and was given the nod to start up front for Chelsea at Villa Park.

Speaking to Chelsea TV, Blues boss Lampard said: “Oli finished really well before the break.

“He had a couple of small injuries at the start of this training period but it was just a choice today.”

Giroud’s inclusion meant Tammy Abraham, who was previously on loan at Villa, had to settle for a place on the bench.

But Lampard insisted: “It’s very important to let the players know that this is more than ever a squad game over the next period.

“Certainly nobody should get their head down at not starting. We’re going to have to make subs and we’re going to need impact off the bench.”