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Derby county

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DERBY, ENGLAND - AUGUST 25: Frank Lampard manager of Derby County celebrates the win after the Sky Bet Championship match between Derby County and Preston North End at Pride Park Stadium on August 25, 2018 in Derby, England. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Former Chelsea midfielder and current Derby County manager Frank Lampard has confirmed he remains focused on his job with the Championship amid reports linking him with a potential takeover at Stamford Bridge, with concerns growing up around Maurizio Sarri‘s role following 6-0 defeat at Man City.

Lampard, speaking at a press conference on Monday, told reporters: “My job is here,” 

“We’re working very hard and my thoughts are on Ipswich Town on Wednesday, and Brighton on Saturday.”

The England international also claimed he believes Blues can bounce back from their last humiliating defeat: “With my Chelsea hat on, 13 years as a player there, you have a feeling for it and it’s not nice, it’s not easy. It doesn’t happen to Chelsea much so when it does it’s a shock.

“But they’re going up against an incredible team and I had some time at Manchester City as well. I have some feelings for them. The work Pep Guardiola and their incredible squad have done is something special.

Lampard added: “For Chelsea it was a tough day. With all top teams the important thing is you come back strong, no matter what type of defeat. What makes top teams is resilience and Chelsea as a club will have it.”

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Ruben Loftus-Cheek has featured in Chelsea‘s last three consecutive games scoring four goals.

The England international’s improvement under Maurizio Sarri looks clearly visible, as assistant coach Gianfranco Zola assessed earlier in a press conference ahead of the 3-2 win. “Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are following his instructions very well” he said.

Loftus-Cheek said: “Derby County pressed quite well. It was difficult for us to play out. Credit to them, they were physical, but we just said at half-time we need to step it up because they were playing well, and we needed to be more aggressive and be braver to play out from the back. They gave us a really tough game”.

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Chelsea assistant coach Gianfranco Zola, who spoke after the Carabao Cup’s 3-2 win against Derby County instead of Maurizio Sarri, has confirmed both defenders Gary Cahill and Andreas Christensen “could have done better in the first half” against Frank Lampard’s men.

Zola said: “A player like Cahill, they play and then they don’t for a while, so they might have a problem. I didn’t mean the defenders didn’t defend well. Everyone has to participate in the defensive phase. Some things didn’t work”.

“I thought Gary [Cahill] and Christensen could have done better in the first half. Normally their distribution is better than tonight. That’s the complaint. But we’ll go through this.”

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Chelsea will take on Bournemouth in the quarter-finals of Carabao Cup after beating 3-2 Derby County in a thrilling game last time out. The tie is set to be played in the week commencing on 17th December.

The Cherries were beaten by Chelsea in Maurizio Sarri‘s second home game in charge at Stamford Bridge with goals from Eden Hazard and winger Pedro.

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Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas scored the decisive goal for Blues in their Carabao Cup clash against Derby County at Stamford Bridge last night.

The Spaniard, speaking after the game, told Chelsea’s official website: “I wasn’t surprised by how adventurous they were,

‘I follow the Championship and I have seen a couple of games, and also the coach alerted us how they play. They are very brave, they are young, they run, they are enthusiastic, and it’s fantastic to see this. Credit to Frank and Jody for what they are doing, it’s great to see these young players wanting to play”.

Derby County conceded two own-goals in a crazy first-half, before Fabregas sent Chelsea into the quarter-final of the competition, where they will face Bournemouth at home.

He added: “The performance was difficult. It’s not easy when you play once a week to keep fit and always be ready. They gave us a fantastic game. But we are through and that’s the most important thing”.

 

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Most of Chelsea fans at Stamford Bridge were waiting for tonight’s clash more to welcome back Blues legend Frank Lampard than for the game itself against Derby County, who Chelsea all time top-scorer has been coaching since the start of this season.

Nobody had doubts that the former midfielder would have got a rapturous reception from his ex supporters ahead of the match and even got a standing ovation from the fans of both sides at the end of the game, as shown in the video below:

Lampard, besides being Chelsea all-time top scorer having netted 211 goals in 648 appearances for the club, also won 13 trophies while playing for the Blues, including the Champions League and three Premier League titles.

Chelsea loanees Fikayo Tomori and Mason Mount, who were granted permission by their parent club to play, started the game but the defender was one of the two Rams players who scored an own goal in the first half.

Before the game Lampard claimed:

“I realise how important Chelsea were in my life and what I owe for that in terms of thanks.

“I’ll be proud and honoured to be taking my team to a club that was my home for 13 years and still feels like home.

“I’ve got great affiliation with Derby already, I’m working hard to do something good here and I love it, but I can’t forget 13 years of my career.

“I was lucky to be part of a strong era, the infrastructure that was laid by Roman Abramovich, it’ll be special to be back there and feel that atmosphere again.”

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A lucky Chelsea get through Carabao Cup last 16 and qualify for quarter finals.

Sarri’s lads won 3-2 over Derby County with two own goals- Fikayo Tomori at 5′ and Richard Keogh at 21′- and Cesc Fabregas,who netted the winner at the end of the the first half, 41′, after the Rams had levelled twice with Jack Marriot, 9′, and Martyn Waghorn, 27′.

In the end of the game first Willy Caballero with a couple of great saves and then the post saved Chelsea from penalty shoot-outs or even a defeat.

The night was also marked by Frank Lampard return to Stamford Bridge: the Derby manager received a fantastic welcome back from his old fans and club.

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Chelsea assistant coach Gianfranco Zola has praised the improvements in Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who are “following Maurizio Sarri’s instructions very well” so far.

The Chelsea legend, who spoke at a press conference ahead of Carabao Cup clash against Derby County, told journalists Eden Hazard is unlikely to be involved tonight. Chelsea trio Pedro, Olivier Giroud and Ethan Ampadu remain a doubt ahead of the game: “their conditions will be assessed tomorrow” said Zola.

Chelsea will face also club loanees Fikayo Tomori and Mason Mount, who are eligible to feature against the Blues. The Italian explained also reasons behind Chelsea’s decision to give Derby County permission for the two youngsters to be involved: “What’s important for us is that Mason and Tomori grow up as players, and we believe playing against us is an opportunity for them to grow up quicker”.

“The more they play against Premier League teams the more experience they can get, and the better the evaluation we can make on them. It was a great opportunity to see them play in front of us and we took it”.

“There will be a lot at stake. It will be a game where the technical, tactical and physical side is on a higher level than the ones they play in their own league”.

“As well as that there will be a psychological component because they will have to play in front of a big crowd, and they know it’s the crowd of the team they belong to, so it will give them a good test”.

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After scoring against Southampton, Manchester United and Burnley, Chelsea star Ross Barkley became the first Englishman to score in three consecutive Premier League games for the Blues since Frank Lampard, who did it back in the 2012/13 campaign.

Lampard found the net four times between January and February (against Arsenal, Wigan, Newcastle United and Reading) ending up the season with 15 goals in the league.

Barkley, who could be involved also tonight as Chelsea face Lampard’s Derby County in the Carabao Cup, wrote on Twitter after the away win at Turf Moor:

“Brilliant performance from the lads today. Happy to get on the scoresheet aswell. Come on Chelsea!”

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