Chelsea are seeing the 'real' Hudson-Odoi

LONDON • In previous seasons, there would have been nothing surprising about Chelsea cruising to a routine home win over opponents at the wrong end of the Premier League table.

Yet while beating lesser teams is supposed to be standard fare for clubs chasing Champions League qualification, some of the fear factor has disappeared from Stamford Bridge this season after recent defeats by Southampton, Bournemouth and West Ham.

Frank Lampard has waited a long time for his side to produce such a show of authority in front of their own supporters and Saturday's 3-0 win over Burnley was an important one after a series of poor attacking displays at home.

The Clarets were brushed aside and, while the Chelsea manager was disappointed not to see more goals, there was plenty to admire about their forward play despite missing injured duo Christian Pulisic and N'Golo Kante.

After Jorginho opened the scoring from the spot, Tammy Abraham nabbed his 13th league goal to become the third-highest scorer in the top flight. But what gave Lampard the most delight was seeing Callum Hudson-Odoi score for the first time in the league.

The winger has struggled to recapture the form he showed last season before he tore his Achilles tendon.

However, after playing a starring role in the FA Cup third-round 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest, Lampard kept faith in him and he was rewarded.

On Hudson-Odoi, he said: "For Callum to score in the six-yard box is more exciting than him scoring from 30 yards without a doubt.

"It means he is willing to get in there. It wasn't the only time he did that. That was the real Callum. If he carries on like that, we will have a real player."

The Blues maintained their five-point lead over fifth-placed Manchester United and Lampard feels they can move even further up the table if his players "pick up on and replicate" their latest display.

"It's just what was needed in terms of performance and result," he said. "It was so positive from minute one.

"We were so fast in our passing and running off the ball and the control of the game.

"It's a big win for us, it's a nice example of the standard that we set."

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 13, 2020, with the headline 'Chelsea are seeing the 'real' Hudson-Odoi'. Print Edition | Subscribe