Lampard welcomes Mata option

Frank Lampard believes Juan Mata can provide Chelsea with something different as they attempt to keep pace with the early-season frontrunners from Manchester.

Both United and City have 100% records so far and scored 13 goals between them yesterday.



Chelsea are two points behind them after a modest start, with Saturday's 3-1 win over Norwich coming after a scrappy victory against West Brom and a draw at Stoke.



Veteran midfielder Lampard, though, is confident Spain forward Mata, signed from Valencia last week and who scored on his debut against the Canaries, could prove to be a key man for his side in their bid to stay in touch.



"Everyone harks back to the days of Arjen Robben and Damien Duff, when they were running down the wings and crossing balls in," Lampard said.



"It is always a great weapon and, personally, I love it when we have that width because it gives you time to arrive late in the box and open teams up.



"That is what we have been able to do when at our best.



"We have other players who can do that but to see Mata do that early on, and also to slip inside playing one-twos and look so sharp, it gave us that different alternative to our play, which is great to see."



It has been suggested by some that Chelsea will struggle to hang on to the two Manchester clubs this season, especially as they have more than their fair share of older players.



At 33, Lampard falls into that bracket, but he insists he is not concerned that his side are being written off already.



"It is still early in the season," said the vice-captain.



"I have seen a lot of games and, if you look at Man City, they have looked very good but went to Bolton and conceded two.



"Teams at this early stage of the season are quite hard to read."



He added: "It might be quite nice for people not to talk about us and the fact other teams have spent more than us. We can concentrate on ourselves.



"Sometimes it is quite nice when everyone is not expecting Chelsea to run away with it like in previous years. It leaves it up to us to prove people wrong."





Source: PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence