Frank Lampard delights in 'base to build from' as defensive solidity helps Chelsea claim goalless draw against Sevilla

Sam Dean
·2-min read
Thiago Silva battles for the ball - SHUTTERSTOCK
Thiago Silva battles for the ball - SHUTTERSTOCK

Frank Lampard said Chelsea’s goalless draw with Sevilla provided his side with a “base to build from” after his defenders kept a much-needed clean sheet.

After a defensive meltdown against Southampton on Saturday, Chelsea were a far more resilient unit in the Champions League as the returning Thiago Silva and Edouard Mendy helped to restore some solidity to their backline.

It was an unspectacular start to Chelsea’s Champions League campaign but Lampard said the clean sheet was a “big deal” for his players after their early-season struggles in defence.

“I was pleased with that professional element to it,” said Lampard, after his first goalless draw since taking over at Stamford Bridge.

“I spoke to the players about game management. The reaction today was a real positive one - Sevilla are a top team in European football.

Matt Law's Chelsea briefing
Matt Law's Chelsea briefing

“The concentration and focus was big from the team. There were a lot of good decisions tonight so it is a really nice base to build from. The clean sheet was a big deal for us today.”

Silva was a commanding presence at the heart of the Chelsea defence but, at the age of 36, the Brazilian will need careful managing over the course of the season. All three of Chelsea’s clean sheets this season have come in games that Silva has started.

“I thought he was very good,” said Lampard. “I spoke before the game about quality and experience and he brought both of those to the game.

“In terms of the season I will manage him and I have got a very close relationship with him already, although we need a translator at the minute.

“I will always work closely with him. I remember myself being in that position towards the back end of my career so I will be very aware of maintenance, training and games.”

The return of Mendy in goal clearly provided his defenders with more confidence and the new signing made a terrific save from Sevilla’s Nemanja Gudelj in the first half.

“The important thing is the clean sheet,” said left-back Ben Chilwell, who impressed again. “We knew people would be looking at us after conceding three goals at the weekend.

“We were solid defensively against a good team and didn't give them many chances so we'll take a draw and a clean sheet. We've been working hard on the training pitch and we've showed that we're a strong outfit defensively.”