Chelsea 3 Bolton 0: Villas-Boas heaps praise on Lampard
Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas was full of praise for Frank Lampard after the midfielder helped Blues to win over Bolton
Andre Villas-Boas hailed Frank Lampard’s display after the midfielder scored in Saturday’s 3-0 win over Bolton at Stamford Bridge.
The 33-year-old midfielder netted Chelsea’s third after David Luiz and Didier Drogba had put the Londoners two up with their second-half strikes.
Villas-Boas had come under fire for his decision to omit a host of senior players, including Lampard, from the starting line-up during the Champions League defeat by Napoli.
But the Chelsea boss insists his decisions to start certain players have been purely tactical.
“It was a different formation in the game against Napoli, where we had two defensive midfielders in front of the defence and with [Juan] Mata between the lines,” Villas-Boas, whose side leapfrogged Arsenal back into fourth place, said after the game.
“Today we were back to the normal 4-3-3 with fresh legs on the pitch and [Jose] Bosingwa injured from the Napoli game, so a straightforward change.
“Lamps was always competing for a place since he returned from injury, so had his chance today and played fantastically well.
“He has been performing and had a fantastic game today. There are six players competing for three positions, and with a number 10 there are six for two. These decisions are for the benefit of the team.
“You have to disconnect the performance from the goal. Frank is an unbelievable midfielder with great timing in the box but his performance wasn’t great just because he got the goal, it was because he helped the team, his possession and defending. Everyone competes for a place and if he plays like this he is nearer to selection like always.”
Villas-Boas admitted that the victory helped ease some of the pressure that had been building on him following a run of disappointing results.
“I think the pressure has been on to get results recently,” he said. “Our run is not impressive the last couple of games so the team wanted to go back to winning ways.
“The most important thing now is to build from this day onwards, solve the cup ties and improve our position in the league.
“It can mean a new start and we need to get the form right and be competent against West Brom, Birmingham, Stoke and Napoli.
“It was important to win for the fans, they have been deserving and demanding a lot from us and today was important they could go home smiling. They have been looking for this feeling like us.”