Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho and his midfield star Frank Lampard praised Chelsea’s performance at West Ham on Saturday evening and paid tribute to the exceptional defensive work of Mikel Obi.
Mourinho was full of praise for Lampard and Oscar following the 3-0 London derby win at West Ham but tied Lampard’s performance to the quality cover provided by the Nigerian who now enjoys a commanding role with his national team.
Lampard scored twice against his former club as Chelsea claimed a second away win in the Premier League this term, with Oscar also on target at Upton Park.
The 35-year-old England midfielder converted a penalty and a trademark strike from the edge of the area to end a 10-match scoreless run in the Premier League and take his tally to five goals in his last five league games against the club he left in the summer of 2001.
“He played very well,” Mourinho said.
“We gave him the protection of Mikel to let him go forward a bit more. After that Lamps felt a bit more freedom to go and to support and to arrive in shooting areas.”
The England midfielder, like Mourinho, acknowledged the role of Mikel in his performance and also had kind words for the Nigerian.
He told Chelsea Tv, “It was enjoyable, because from the first minute we were on it. 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.”
Mourinho then revealed he hopes to help Lampard to a successful conclusion to his career.
“I was his manager in the best period of his career and now I come back with him to enjoy the last period of his career,” said Mourinho, for whom Lampard was a mainstay in the side during his first spell as boss from June 2004 to September 2007.
“When he has this relationship with the manager, I think he feels even more comfortable to enjoy himself. He’s in a moment where he has nothing to prove – to you, to the fans, to me, to himself. He has nothing to prove. He has just to enjoy the last years of his career, try to play the maximum he can, try to score because scoring was always something that was part of his DNA as a player, and enjoy life.”
Mourinho would not be drawn on how long he expects Lampard, 36 next June, to continue, but believes Oscar has a long and bright future.
Culled from Punch News