Frank Lampard wants Chelsea to show title credentials

 

Frank Lampard ended his worst Barclays Premier League goalscoring run in a decade at his former club before calling on Chelsea to build momentum into the new year to show their title credentials.

The 35-year-old scored twice in the 3-0 win at West Ham to end a 10-match scoreless run, since the opening day defeat of Hull, and take his tally to five goals in his last five games against the club he left for Stamford Bridge in 2001.

Chelsea's record goalscorer was given the freedom to roam further forwards with John Obi Mikel in midfield and took full advantage to end a two-match winless run, something of a crisis for Jose Mourinho's men, with just a second away win of the season.

"It was enjoyable, because from the first minute we were on it," Lampard told Chelsea TV.

"We haven't done it well enough away from home this season and having lost some silly points in the last two games we were very up for it.

"It was a very complete performance. We caused them loads of problems.

"Obi in there is a great guarantee behind you. It certainly gives me a few more opportunities to get forward.

"We knew exactly what we needed to do and when we do it like that we're going to win a lot more games than we don't win.

"It's really important now we go on a run and carry on with that form, whether we're home or away."

Chelsea's next Premier League clash is against Southampton in the first of nine December games in all competitions.

First the focus is on securing qualification for the knockout stages of the Champions League - something which eluded the 2012 European champions last season - and a victory at Basle which would secure top spot in Group E prior to the December 11 clash with Steaua Bucharest.

"We lost at home (to Basle), "Lampard added. "(But) we won their last year in the Europa League. Let's try to get that win.

"Then you can relax in that last game a little bit. We need to go and do the job."

Basle inflicted Chelsea's first home loss in the group phase of the tournament in nearly 10 years, ending a 29-match unbeaten streak, at the start of Group E.

Since Chelsea have responded by winning 4-0 at Steaua and twice defeating Schalke 3-0.

"The great thing about that game is it's a bit of a distant memory now, because of results since then," Lampard added.

"It wasn't easy to go and win three on the bounce (and) we still have a bit more to do. We can put the record straight on Tuesday."

If things are looking bright for Lampard and Chelsea as the busy festive period approaches, they are darkening for his former club West Ham and their boss Sam Allardyce.

Chelsea needed no helping hand but got one when Guy Demel's woeful back-pass was intercepted by Oscar and Jussi Jaaskelainen toppled the forward, with Lampard converting the spot-kick.

The Hammers defence backed off and Oscar fired in a second before a trademark Lampard third from the edge of the area.

Allardyce, who once again opted not to select a striker, bemoaned failings at both ends of the field following a fourth home loss of the season, the same number as in the whole of last term.

Allardyce said: "We are suffering in front of goal and now we are suffering defensively with our errors. We have got to stop that.

"Chelsea deserved to win but there have been far too many games where we have been on top and we've got nothing."

The continued absence of record signing Andy Carroll, who is continuing his rehabilitation from a heel injury in Amsterdam, and ankle surgery for key defender Winston Reid has hampered the Hammers.

Allardyce would like to add to his options in January, but first his and the Hammers' fortunes must improve.

The manager added: "January's a long way off with the amount of games we've got in December. We have six games in December as well as the one next week.

"The big time for me is Fulham here (next Saturday) and the Tuesday night Crystal Palace away. That's got to be four points minimum."

James Collins agreed.

"We've got off to probably the worst start we could have thought of," the Wales defender told West Ham TV.

"Every game's massive now. If ever there was a time to do it to get our season back on track, it's the next two games. It's up to us to put it right."

PA

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