We dominated the Magpies to dismiss claims of St James’ Park being a bogey ground for Chelsea and triumph 2-0. Our performance probably deserved more goals given the possession and chances we created on Tyneside, and it took a long time for us to make the victory safe with the second goal after taking the lead 10 minutes in, but Lampard was more concerned with his team avoiding complacency.
‘It’s always smoother on the bench for me and the staff when you do wrap it up early, but it can happen,’ said our head coach. ‘We played well, it’s not an easy game for us coming here against a very organised team.
‘It was great to get the early goal, that changes the aspect of it, but the second one was then so important and we obviously had chances to get that earlier. Even after that we could maybe score again, but we can’t have it all our own way. There are days where you aren’t quite at it in front of goal, then we put the game away very well I thought in our professional performance.
‘It’s important for us as a group if we want to get where we want to be that you have to work on those moments when you do go ahead that you don’t get complacent. Penetration was the big thing for me. We were having control but people were still happy to run in.
‘It’s very easy to think “I’ll come short to the ball” or “I’ll play the safe pass”. We had to keep making those more dangerous passes and the runs and the effort to get in there, and I think to a degree we did. It’s not an easy game, I can understand the players can sometimes become comfortable. It’s little lessons where we can get better.’
Our quick start to the match to take control in the early stages also pleased Lampard, especially coming in a game which was played so soon after the majority of our squad had returned from international duty in mid-week.
‘I thought the first 20 minutes we were great because we had control and we had penetration. We had people running in behind, we were getting in sight and making crosses. I think sometimes the danger of that sort of control is it becomes comfort, which is dangerous and we then turned it over a couple of times.
‘So that was the message at half-time. They came out more positive in the second half and I always felt the real danger moments for us could be on transition and counter-attack, because Timo showed that two or three times in the first half and then obviously he shows that for Tammy’s goal.
‘We played well in patches and the result is key in these games because the Premier League is tough. It’s relentless and after the break where we were playing well and everyone goes in their own directions and comes back. I thought the lads dealt with the challenge of the game very well today, so I’m very pleased.’