Chelsea’s Frank Lampard ‘very impressed’ with Atletico star Tiago
Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard singles out former Blues midfielder Tiago for special praise ahead of their semi-final first-leg
Frank Lampard admits he has been “very impressed” with Tiago this season ahead of Chelsea’s clash against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday.
The former Blues midfielder has been a mainstay of the Atletico side this term, scoring twice and making on assists in 18 La Liga appearances.
We are very aware of what he can do and we’ll have to watch him amongst all the others
And Lampard, who was team-mates with Tiago during Jose Mourinho’s first reign at Chelsea, described the Portuguese as a “very good player”.
“I’ve been very impressed with him this year,” Lampard told Chelsea’s website.
“He’s a very good player and of course we know him well from here. He’s very complete – he’s got a bit of everything as a midfield player.
“He’s a great lad as well. We had a very good time and a very successful time when he was here and no wonder, because he was a very good lad and a very good player.
“We are very aware of what he can do and we’ll have to watch him amongst all the others.”
Meanwhile, Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech picked out Tiago’s strike at Old Trafford as the former Chelsea midfielder’s best moment during his one season at the club in 2005.
“He was a nice guy,” added Cech.
“He was a team player and he was someone who everybody at the club liked. We were all sad when he left so it will be nice to see him again.
“The best memory I have of playing with Tiago was that goal he scored at Old Trafford from 30 yards out which went straight into the top corner. That was an absolutely unbelievable goal and it came from nowhere really.”
Atletico Madrid v Chelsea: Pre-match facts
• The teams met in the 2012 Uefa Super Cup when Radamel Falcao’s first-half hat-trick gave Atletico a 4-1 victory in Monaco and their second triumph in the competition in three years. Gary Cahill scored Chelsea’s consolation after Miranda had made it 4-0 on the hour.
• Atletico have taken on English sides 21 times, winning eight, drawing eight and losing five. At home their record is W5 D4 L0. In seven two-legged ties with English clubs in Uefa competition, Atletico have won five and lost two.
• This is Atletico’s 13th appearance in a major Uefa club competition semi-final; they have won six and lost six.
• Born in the Madrid suburb of Fuenlabrada, Fernando Torres became Atletico’s youngest captain at 19 and scored 84 goals in 214 Liga appearances for the Rojiblancos before joining Liverpool in 2007.