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‘Miracle stuff from Lampard at Chelsea’ – Sutton salutes top-four hopefuls and FA Cup finalists

10:31 BST 20/07/2020
Frank Lampard Chelsea 2019-20
The former Blues striker feels a relatively inexperienced coach has overachieved in what has been a testing debut campaign at the Stamford Bridge helm

Frank Lampard has delivered “miracle stuff” during his debut campaign as Chelsea manager, claims Chris Sutton, with the inexperienced coach leading the Blues into an FA Cup final and towards a top-four finish.

Such success has become the norm for west London giants during the ownership of Roman Abramovich. The 2019-20 campaign had, however, started with expectations reined in on the back of a managerial change and transfer embargo.

Lampard returned to Stamford Bridge aware that he was taking on a tough task after seeing his hands tied in the transfer market and with just one season of coaching experience to his name.

The Chelsea legend has, however, gone above and beyond on his initial remit, with the Blues holding their own with an exciting young squad.

Further proof of that was offered in a 3-1 win over Manchester United on Sunday, with Lampard bucking a wretched record against the Red Devils to get the better of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in a tactical battle and put his team in contention for major silverware.

“Chelsea went with a back three, matched up, and Manchester United really didn’t lay a glove on Chelsea,” former Blues striker Sutton told BBC Radio 5 Live of another step in the right direction from Lampard’s side. “In the first half, I can’t really think of any time when [Willy] Caballero was tested at all.

“They went 2-0 up, yes at the end Manchester United get a consolation – daft challenge from [Callum] Hudson-Odoi in the box on [Anthony] Martial – but I think we have to give Frank credit, in a very trying season.

“You don’t have to think back too far to what he took over, this was a club who had an embargo on them - he couldn’t bring players in.

“Was the expectation there as there has been under the Abramovich regime to go and challenge for a title? No, I don’t think there was, but there was still pressure.

“Before this game we talked about both clubs wanting Champions League places.

“At the start of the season, with everything being equal, we would say that if Frank Lampard got this Chelsea team into a Champions League spot – that is an unbelievable job. If he can add an FA Cup to this as well, that is miracle stuff in his first season.”

Chelsea, who are set to face London rivals Arsenal in the FA Cup final, sit third in the Premier League table at present – with two games left to take in – and will be back in action on Wednesday when they take in a trip to champions Liverpool.