Garth Crooks questions Frank Lampard's handling of Cesar Azpilicueta at Chelsea FC

Garth Crooks questions why Frank Lampard was so reluctant to use Cesar Azpilicueta after the Chelsea FC defender's goal on Sunday

Chelsea FC manager Thomas Tuchel (Photo: Screen grab / BT Sport)
Chelsea FC manager Thomas Tuchel (Photo: Screengrab / BT Sport)

Garth Crooks has questioned why Frank Lampard didn’t play Cesar Azpilicueta more often after the Spanish defender helped new Chelsea FC manager Thomas Tuchel secure his first league win on Sunday with a 2-0 victory over Burnley.

The Spain international was named in successive starting line-ups in the Premier League after Tuchel took over the reins of the west London side from Blues legend Frank Lampard last week.

Azpilicueta helped Chelsea FC to keep a rare clean sheet in a 0-0 draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night to secure Tuchel’s first point as Blues manager.

The 31-year-old then scored his first Premier League goal of the 2020-21 season when Azpilicueta finished from close range following an excellent run and pass by Callum Hudson-Odoi.

The Spanish defender has started just nine Premier League games this season as Lampard preferred to go with Reece James and Ben Chilwell in full-back roles in the current campaign.

BBC Sport pundit Crooks reckons Azpilicueta should have been used more regularly by Tuchel’s predecessor after the full-back’s goal in Chelsea FC’s 2-0 victory over Burnley at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon.

“Thomas Tuchel’s first game in charge against Wolves after the departure of Frank Lampard was a rather cautious affair,” Crooks told BBC Sport.

“Not so against Burnley.

“The Blues took the handbrake off against the Clarets, Cesar Azpilicueta in particular. The Chelsea captain played his part in both fixtures but his goal against Burnley was quite outstanding.

“Azpilicueta’s determination to cover the ground in order to receive the pass from Callum Hudson-Odoi was compelling.

“It also makes you question why Frank Lampard left the full-back out of the side for so long.”

Azpilicueta has scored one goal and has made one assist in 11 games in the Premier League in the current campaign.

Chelsea FC will take on Tottenham in the Premier League on Thursday night before the Blues travel to Sheffield United on Sunday.

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