Chelsea win over Morecambe could make all the difference for struggling duo Kai Havertz and Timo Werner

James Robson
·5-min read
<p>Kai Havertz and Timo Werner both scored against Morecambe in the FA Cup third round</p> (Getty Images)

Kai Havertz and Timo Werner both scored against Morecambe in the FA Cup third round

(Getty Images)

If this proves to be the turning point in Chelsea’s season then credit must go to Frank Lampard for recognising the significance of a routine FA Cup third-round tie.

Time will tell if a 4-0 win against League Two Morecambe kick-starts a campaign that has been in danger of going into free fall.

But it ends a woeful run of form that has taken debate around Lampard from talk of a new contract to speculation over who will replace him at Stamford Bridge.

That is the nature of the beast at Chelsea – and the man who was a playing legend in these parts is under no illusions about the expectations from one of the most demanding owners in world football.

That’s why – even in the midst of the most hectic, congested season in modern times – he left nothing to chance.

His pre-match warning that the threat of a giant-killing was very real felt like more than just an attempt to focus minds. In the form Chelsea were in – one win in seven and four defeats in six – nothing could be taken for granted.

Lampard knew that – and even if his position is under no imminent threat, a cup upset would only have seen the pressure mount.

So there was no rest for Timo Werner after 12 games without a goal, while £71million Kai Havertz was another notable inclusion.

This level of opposition was an ideal opportunity to boost the morale of two expensive, high-profile signings whose personal form has echoed that of Chelsea’s.

It worked, and Lampard will hope that pair, in particular, drive on from this moment. For Werner, it was that much-needed goal that strikers crave to change the narrative. But more significant could be Havertz’s contribution.

The 21-year-old scored one, made one and by the end portrayed the body language of a man who couldn’t get enough of the ball.

No matter the opponent, days like this can make all the difference for a player grasping desperately for form.

Timo Werner ended his Chelsea goal drought in the FA Cup win over MorecambeAFP via Getty Images
Timo Werner ended his Chelsea goal drought in the FA Cup win over MorecambeAFP via Getty Images

Havertz has looked a shadow of the man who had Europe’s biggest clubs trailing him last season – but this was the type of performance to bring back memories of his days as Bayer Leverkusen’s chief tormentor.

His determination to drive into the box, to link midfield and attack, as well as getting in front of goal was all there to see.

That’s what Lampard wanted the playmaker to add to his side – to give them a fluidity they have lacked since the departure of Eden Hazard.

It was evident when he drifted to the far post to head Hakim Ziyech’s cross into the path of Werner to double Chelsea’s lead just before half-time.

Mason Mount had put the home side in front after 18 minutes with a 25-yard effort. His inclusion was further evidence of Lampard’s determination to avoid any chance of an upset.

Havertz rounded off the win with another burst forward in the 85th minute to head home Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross. It ended a run of 15 games without a goal.

Callum Hudson-Odoi had put Chelsea 3-0 up four minutes after the break when running onto a clipped pass from the outstanding Ziyech.

So many of Chelsea’s big players were involved in their big moments, which is precisely how Lampard would have wanted it after making the call to involve them.

Ziyech offered another reminder of what his team-mates have missed during his injury lay-off, which coincided with much of the slump that saw them drop from first to ninth in the Premier League.

Havertz also impressed as Chelsea earned a morale-boosting victory at Stamford Bridge Getty Images
Havertz also impressed as Chelsea earned a morale-boosting victory at Stamford Bridge Getty Images

Mount – who deserved a rest more than any Chelsea player – was also enlisted to offer the drive in midfield that has made him such a crucial part of Lampard’s system. He has missed just two Champions League dead-rubbers in the last 16 games and shows no sign of tiring.

Unlike Havertz and Werner, his involvement was down to his influence, rather than any need to lift his spirits.

But there was no harm in including him in such a dominant performance, if only to remind him of what it feels like to win again.

It is a habit that Lampard will hope will stick.

Hudson-Odoi makes his point again

AFP via Getty Images
AFP via Getty Images

It’s been a frustrating season for a man who remains on the wanted list of European champions Bayern Munich.

Hudson-Odoi continues to do everything that’s asked of him – be it from the bench or from his rare opportunities from the start.

The winger has made just eight starts this season, but has five goals to show for his efforts.

And he was on the scoresheet again against Morecambe, as well as providing an assist for Mount.

In this kind of form it can’t be long before Lampard gives him an extended run in the team.

Lampard plays fair by Kepa

Getty Images
Getty Images

Just days after failing to offer any assurances over Kepa Arrizabalaga’s future, Lampard named him in a starting lineup for only the fifth time this season.

The Spain international is expected to leave this month – so long as a suitor comes along – in his bid to make the Euros this summer.

That will leave Willy Caballero as back-up to Edouard Mendy, but Lampard still opted to go with the most expensive goalkeeper in the world against Morecambe.

Had Kepa been left out, it would have only fuelled talk of his departure – and while that is still expected, Lampard didn’t force him to endure the ignominy of sitting on the bench again.

But Lampard must have feared the worst when Adam Phillips caught him off his line with the score at 0-0 in the first half.

It is credit to Kepa that he managed to readjust himself to get a hand on the ball when so nearly beaten at the near post – even if he was fractions away from carrying it over the line.

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