Frank Lampard said Chelsea’s performance against Newcastle after a week disrupted by international commitments was an example of the growing confidence within his squad.
The Blues moved to the top of the table with a comfortable 2-0 win at St James’ Park despite their entire starting line-up being away during the week and having to travel to the north-east for a Saturday lunchtime kick-off.
AnFederico Fernandez own goal and Tammy Abraham’s second-half strike sealed a comfortable win, but it could have been so much more for Lampard’s side ,who squandered several goalscoring opportunities.
Newcastle offered little in attack as Chelsea chalked up a sixth clean sheet in seven matches in an efficient display on a ground where they have been beaten on two of their last three visits.
“Playing after international breaks is challenging but we pulled the lads back together and I thought we were focused and showed that in our preparation and performance in what is always a difficult game,” Lampard said.
“To come here and play like that against a team we lost to last year, dominating possession and keeping a clean sheet, I am very happy with that.”
Timo Werner was guilty of missing two very presentable chances but Lampard said the German striker showed his class with the superb run he made to set up Abraham’s goal.
“We created some nice chances and Newcastle don’t give you many because they defend resolutely around their box but we opened them up to score two or three and go in at half-time more comfortable,” he said.
“He had a couple of chances Timo and some days it doesn’t go for you.
“He was a threat for us throughout the game especially in the transition.
“When you have players that have that quality to open up, it can win you games.”