Lampard praises players after Chelsea gameplan pays off

Frank Lampard felt his Chelsea players carried out his instructions brilliantly in the FA Cup semi-final win over Manchester United.

Both managers made changes to their team and formation for the game at Wembley, where the Blues won 3-1.

And while United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has attracted criticism for his decisions, Lampard got his tactics spot on as Chelsea successfully nullified their opponents.

“The players deserve credit,” Lampard said at his post-match press conference.

“We’ve worked a lot in the last two days to show them the dangers that come from Manchester United.

“They run behind – we know that from earlier in the season – and they’re getting even better at that with the speed of their front three and Fernandes.

“They also find really good areas in midfield, in between the lines, and even though we had a back three I didn’t want it to become a back five.

“I wanted people to go in in midfield and make tackles and be comfortable.

“The biggest thing for me was our off-the-ball work and our physical intensity. It wins you games.”

Lampard is now within sight of a Champions League place and silverware in his first season as Chelsea boss.

He said: “We have to focus on the three finals domestically that we have – two league games and then Arsenal in the FA Cup final, which is huge for us.

“We are progressing. We are getting better. There are going to be some bumps but today was a performance of huge character, personality, work ethic and quality.”

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