Chelsea 'attitude and focus' is key to Premier League title push, says Frank Lampard

The Blues are within touching distance of league leaders Arsenal

Frank Lampard has warned his Chelsea team-mates their Barclays Premier League title hopes will be determined by attitude.

The Blues maintained the pressure on leaders Arsenal with a hard-fought 4-3 victory at lowly Sunderland on Wednesday night.

For the second time in four days, Jose Mourinho's men had to come from behind to take the points, and England international Lampard knows they will need to show the same kind of resilience at Stoke on Saturday if they are to emerge triumphant.

Asked about his side's developing consistency, the 35-year-old Told Chelsea TV: "That's it, and let's carry on like that.

"A lot of that, for me, is attitude and focus. We have got the squad, we have got the players, we have to get ourselves up for every game, we have to really, really focus because every game is difficult these days.

"More than ever, that's true. Coming up to Sunderland, going up to Stoke on Saturday - if we go up there with the wrong attitude, we won't win, so it's up to us."

It was Lampard who dragged Chelsea back into the game at the Stadium of Light after United States international striker Jozy Altidore had fired the hosts ahead with his first league goal for the club after 14 minutes.

The midfielder found himself completely unmarked in front of goal after Eden Hazard had wrong-footed full-back Phil Bardsley three minutes later and had the simplest of tasks to head home his fifth of the season.

Lampard said: "You get a sense with players like Eden when they are going to cut back and feint to cross. I waited for him to feint and then just arrived at the right time.

"He put in on a sixpence, really. If had missed that, then I would have been a bit upset."

However, if Lampard was the catalyst for what followed, Hazard took up the baton to turn in an individual display which had his manager and team-mates alike purring.

The Belgium international blasted the visitors into a 37th-minute lead, cutting inside Bardsley and Craig Gardner before firing across goalkeeper Vito Mannone and inside the far post.

He repeated the feat 17 minutes into the second half after John O'Shea had levelled for the Black Cats, this time collecting Lampard's back-heel and carving a path through the penalty area before drilling a shot into the back of the net.

Lampard said: "Eden Hazard was different class. It's the best individual performance I have seen in a while.

"The only player who is probably putting in those sort of performances is [Manchester City's Sergio] Aguero.

"This season he has put in some individual performances which I have seen some of those from afar, but to play with, that was just top drawer.

"He kept slipping inside people and getting his shots away. He was the big difference.

"As a team, we played very well, but he was that little bit of extra quality that wins you these games."

Phil Bardsley's 84th-minute own goal looked to have given Chelsea breathing space, but the defender quickly atoned for his error at the other end as the visitors were punished for the third time for failing to defend a set-piece adequately, and that made for a tense conclusion.

Lampard said: "Balls bounced down for them. We can look at ourselves a bit, but you just do have sometimes nights where that happens.

"But we went through on goal a few times, created lots of chances and were very flowing.

"It could have been easier. We certainly dominated big parts of the game and created chances. I thought we played really well, really, apart from that nerve-wracking last eight minutes or whatever.

"I don't know where he [referee Phil Dowd] got six minutes from of extra time, but we had to dig in. But we have got to take a lot from the performance. It's not an easy place to come in December."

PA

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

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Attwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'