Chelsea's Lampard delighted as Hudson-Odoi and Pulisic impress
Callum Hudson-Odoi and Christian Pulisic impressed Frank Lampard on Saturday as Chelsea won a fifth game in a row in all competitions.
Frank Lampard praised the performances of Callum Hudson-Odoi and Christian Pulisic after Chelsea battled to a 1-0 win over Newcastle United.
The Blues were kept at bay by a disciplined defensive display from Steve Bruce's side at Stamford Bridge before Hudson-Odoi set up Marcos Alonso to fire home the winner with 73 minutes played.
Hudson-Odoi leaves Chelsea fans wanting more
Hudson-Odoi had been Chelsea's most dangerous attacking player during a largely lifeless first 45 minutes and created five goalscoring chances in total - the most by a Chelsea teenager since Romelu Lukaku in May 2012 - before he was substituted in stoppage time to a rapturous reception from the home fans.
"I thought he was good, really good, in terms of product on the wing and taking people on," Lampard said of the 18-year-old, who has assisted a goal in three consecutive league appearances. "He looked sharp, getting at people – a big threat. I am really pleased with that.
"The end product will come even more with Callum. Coming inside and getting his shots away, he was giving them a big problem, so it was great to see and for the fans to see. Callum needs to carry on doing that.
"There is the other side of the game, off the ball. He knows that he can get better at that, and he will do. There are glimpses today of some of the special stuff he has got."
3 - Callum Hudson-Odoi (18y 346d) is the second youngest player in Premier League history to assist in three consecutive appearances, behind only Michael Owen (18y 27d) in January 1998. Prodigy. pic.twitter.com/0pUl5qUjiB— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 19, 2019
Lampard pleased with Pulisic
Lampard was also delighted with Pulisic for his efforts during a 26-minute outing as a second-half substitute for Mason Mount.
The United States star missed a good chance to break the deadlock but helped to bring added dynamism to the Chelsea attack as they kept the visitors pinned back in their own half.
Pulisic's place in Lampard's plans has come under scrutiny given he has not started a league match since August, but the Blues boss has no doubt there is plenty to come from the 21-year-old.
"I'm really pleased for him," he said. "He's a hot topic because of the price tag, because of his status in his national team, and his world status through that. And everyone has got a little bit carried away with the short term.
"The long term is that he's come here and he's just turned 21 and to see him play like he did today, and there's a lot more to come. It's not the end story."
Lampard worried over FIFA break
Lampard admitted he had been concerned the international break could have affected the momentum of Chelsea, who have now won five matches in a row in all competitions, so was delighted with the way his players responded to a flat first-half performance.
"If there was a worry, it was that the international break might have cut out momentum and we'd forget the good things we were doing to get those results," he said. "But particularly in the second half, you saw a spirit and energy in the team.
"Every game now, we need to go back to basics and keep trying to pick up those wins because it's a tough league. When you see the results around, you realise how tough it is. You take nothing for granted.
"Credit to Newcastle, you can see why they've got a couple of big results this year. They're organised, [get] men behind the ball, a threat on the counter-attack and, in the first half, we were a little bit safe and a little bit slow.
"We moved the ball side-to-side but not with enough urgency and not enough risk to take people out of the game. That was the message at half-time and for the majority of the second half we did that, we were good.
"The players need to be brave and confident. It's a great sign of the squad when subs come on and make such a difference.
"[Mateo] Kovacic was outstanding when you're talking about taking people out of the game, centrally, creating opportunities. Christian came on in a position just behind Tammy [Abraham] and started to turn and get at people, which created the goal. So, I'm pleased."
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