Frank Lampard admitted that Olivier Giroud’s winner at Rennes has given him a few welcome selection dilemmas.
After Saturday’s win at Newcastle, Giroud had suggested he may have to leave Chelsea in January to get regular game time, but Lampard said the French striker would get more minutes with a hectic winter schedule looming.
“I have a problem because I have Tammy (Abraham) who is playing well – and we know what he did last year – and Oli always contributes in that way, that professionalism, so I have two players in a similar position fighting for a place so that’s a good problem,” Lampard said.
“Oli will get his minutes because we have a busy schedule, we play every few days, and you see a few changes I made today, I had to for freshness in the team.
“The reason you see such a reaction around the goal, not only is it a last-minute winner, but with someone like Oli who acts like he does day in and day out, shows you what he means to this team.”
The Blues boss was pleased with long spells of the game, but admitted Rennes had made his side work hard for the points.
“I’m very happy to qualify with two games to spare, albeit we want to top the group, but it was a really tough match for us tonight,” he added.
“Rennes are a very good team, possibly an underrated team when you look at recent form.
“They are better than that and we found that out tonight, but we also played well for big spells of the game so a tough, hard-fought win for us.”