After Chelsea ‘s win over Aston Villa, Frank Lampard hailed Christian Pulisic as a “top-class player,” while insisting the winger was “hungry” to make an impact after such a long time off the pitch.
After the coronavirus-enforced break in the season, Chelsea marked their return to competitive action by securing a 2-1 victory over Villa on Saturday afternoon.
The result was that the side of Lampard pushed five points away from Manchester United and Wolves in the fourth race thus narrowing the gap on Leicester’s third position to just three.
Nonetheless, the Blues were forced to fight for victory as the hosts took a surprising lead of 43rd minute against the play game.
Villa had been pinned back in their half before after their first significant game attack Kortney Hause bundled the ball into the net.
Chelsea regrouped at the interval and came out with a renewed intent for the second period but in the 55th minute, Lampard determined that more impetus was required as he introduced Ross Barkley and Pulisic to the action.
Within five minutes of coming on, Pulisic found the back of the net, smashing a pinpoint Cesar Azpilicueta cross into the net at the near post to level the scores.
Moments later, Olivier Giroud completed the Blues’ comeback, gracefully swinging into the box before turning the ball home with a wicked deflection.
Lampard singled out Pulisic for praise after the match, though acknowledging that omitting the United States international from its starting line-up was a tough decision for him.
The Chelsea manager told reporters: “He’s been hungry, I know that and I feel good for him. He ‘s learned well. It’s a huge deal to be able to get into the box.”
Ruben Loftus Cheek made Lampard’s team sheet and after 13 months on the sidelines, Lampard was delighted to see the England international return to the pitch.