EPL

Loftus-Cheek has Chelsea future, says Lampard

By Sports Desk January 16, 2021

Frank Lampard has been impressed by the form of Ruben Loftus-Cheek at Fulham and insists the midfielder has a Chelsea future.

Loftus-Cheek caught the eye in Fulham's 1-1 draw at Tottenham on Wednesday, with Scott Parker's team now six matches unbeaten in all competitions.

Chelsea loaned Loftus-Cheek to their local rivals, who they face in the Premier League at Craven Cottage on Saturday, in October.

He has gone on to make 11 top-flight appearances with eight starts, exactly the run of games Chelsea boss Lampard wanted his player to have after missing over a year of action with an Achilles injury.

Lampard said: "He played well [against Tottenham] and I was really pleased to see that.

"I felt we missed Ruben last year. When he was getting fit, I was excited because I know the attributes he has and I wanted those attributes at the club.

"The conversations I had with him earlier on in the season were about him not feeling as sharp or as good as he wanted to be off the back of a really bad injury.

"So it was question of whether he could go and play games because he felt he would get regular game time elsewhere.

"Seeing him play recently, he is looking fit and fresh and strong. We know his obvious talents so it is great to see. 

"If he can keep that up hopefully through the season, and get back to exactly where he was and more, then I will be very happy and he will come back as our player for sure."

While Chelsea comfortably defeated Morecambe in the FA Cup last time out, they have not won in three Premier League matches and are ninth in the table.

Related items

  • Arteta: I want more from Arsenal, it wasn't good enough Arteta: I want more from Arsenal, it wasn't good enough

    Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta conceded the Gunners were not good enough as they suffered stoppage-time heartbreak against Everton in the Premier League.

    Arteta's Arsenal suffered their third defeat in four Premier League matches after Demarai Gray's stunning individual effort saw the hosts snatch a dramatic 92nd-minute victory.

    Martin Odegaard had given the visitors a half-time lead with his neat volley from Kieran Tierney's cross at Goodison Park.

    Arsenal were made to rue their failure to convert their winning position, as Richarlison equalised before Gray completed the turnaround in the second minute of stoppage time.

    Arteta felt his players were punished for their lack of game management after succumbing to three consecutive league defeats to Everton for the first time since 1986.

    "In the first half, we were very inconsistent with the ball," Arteta told Sky Sports. "I didn't like it. [We had] no penetration; one of the few times we did it, we scored. 

    "Second half, we tried to do more of those things, created four big chances, but conceded a very sloppy goal when you need to manage the game.

    "I think the team tried to keep going, we kept pressing high. We lost a few important duels that put us some pressure."

    "What I want is more from my team. Today, you have the game under control even though you're not playing your best, and you have to find a way to win it.

    "It could have been very different, but we haven't managed to do it. When the opponent is there for the taking, you have to do it, and we haven't. It wasn't good enough."

    Odegaard concurred with Arteta that seventh-placed Arsenal must significantly improve their performance levels.

    Former Real Madrid midfielder Odegaard was one of Arsenal's better performers on Merseyside; registering game-high tallies of four key passes and three shots on goal.

    Odegaard's goal was the ninth consecutively scored by Arsenal in the Premier League by a player aged 23 or younger, their longest such run in Premier League history.

    He also became the youngest Norwegian (22 years, 354 days) to score in back-to-back Premier League appearances since John Arne Riise in August 2002 for Liverpool (21 years, 328 days).

    "It's a hard one to take. I think in general, we were not at the level we needed to be at today," he said. "We had some good moments, but we have to do much better. We should have been better.

    "It's hard to say exactly what happened. We have to do better when we have that lead. We stopped playing and gave them the game they wanted to play.

    "I think it is [a mindset problem]. When you're leading 1-0, you get afraid to lose the win and, in my opinion, that's what we did wrong today. 

    "You go for the second goal and that was the intention, but we didn't manage to do that on the pitch."

    Arsenal have lost consecutive Premier League matches when scoring the first goal in each match, the first time they have done that since December 2016, with one of those defeats also a 2-1 loss against Everton at Goodison Park – the other was a 2-1 defeat to Manchester City.

  • Pepe to miss Porto's decisive Atletico Madrid clash due to COVID-19 Pepe to miss Porto's decisive Atletico Madrid clash due to COVID-19

    Porto will be without captain Pepe for their decisive Champions League showdown with Atletico Madrid on Tuesday after he tested positive for coronavirus.

    The Primeira Liga leaders go into their final Group B match at Estadio do Dragao in second place, with Atleti and Milan also in the hunt to qualify for the last 16 behind runaway leaders Liverpool.

    Porto will have to do without veteran centre-back Pepe, while Marko Grujic is a doubt due to an ankle injury.

    Coach Sergio Conceicao said during a news conference on Monday: "Pepe tested positive for COVID. It's an uncontrollable situation, it's part of society.

    "As for Grujic, two days ago in training, with the poor quality of our pitches, he sprained [his ankle] and is in doubt."

    Milan and Atleti are just a point behind Porto and Jurgen Klopp will ring the changes for Liverpool's trip to San Siro.

    Conceicao believes it should already have been mission accomplished for his side, who must win to make certain of a place in the knockouts.

    He said: "In this circumstance, in the last round of the group stage [to be in contention to progress] is something my team deserves praise for, and it would be deserved to be already in the round of 16.

    "Any of the teams [Porto, Milan and Atleti] can dream of going through, but we have to focus on what we have to do in the game and win it."

    Mateus Uribe (suspended) and Ivan Marcano (foot) are also ruled out, while Francisco Conceicao (hip) and Joao Mario (fatigue) are rated as doubtful. 

  • Everton 2-1 Arsenal: Stunning Gray strike snatches last-gasp victory Everton 2-1 Arsenal: Stunning Gray strike snatches last-gasp victory

    Demarai Gray's stoppage-time wonder goal saw Everton snatch a dramatic 2-1 victory over Arsenal and relieve the pressure on boss Rafael Benitez.

    Martin Odegaard put the Gunners in front just before half-time at Goodison Park with a neat volley from Kieran Tierney's cross.

    But despite twice being denied by VAR, Richarlison equalised with 10 minutes remaining, before Gray completed the turnaround with a stunning 25-yard effort in the second minute of stoppage time.

    Now without a win in four Premier League visits to Goodison, Mikel Arteta’s side missed the chance to return to fifth place in the table.

    Everton were unbeaten in their three previous home games against Arsenal in the Premier League and made a bright start to proceedings.

    Top scorer Gray and Abdoulaye Doucoure were off target, while Anthony Gordon had a shot blocked inside the box.

    The hosts thought they had taken a 44th-minute lead when Richarlison headed in Andros Townsend's cross, but VAR denied them as the Brazil international strayed marginally offside.

    The visitors capitalised in first-half stoppage time, Odegaard arriving late to neatly volley home Kieran Tierney's centre.

    Odegaard almost turned provider eight minutes after the restart, the former Real Madrid midfielder’s cross finding Gabriel Magalhaes, whose header was saved by Jordan Pickford.

    Everton and Richarlison were denied by VAR again four minutes later, the latter offside by a fraction once more as he received Doucoure's pass before slotting beyond Aaron Ramsdale.

    But their persistence paid off 10 minutes from time, Richarlison reacting quickest to head home the rebound after Ramsdale had done brilliantly to turn Gray’s initial effort onto the crossbar.

    Eddie Nketiah then squandered a glorious opportunity to snatch the points for Arsenal; the substitute somehow hitting the post with a close-range header.

    It proved costly as Everton snatched all three points in the second minute of added time, Gray embarking on a strong run before bending a wonderful 25-yard strike in off the post.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.