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'Proud' Lampard appreciative of warm Chelsea reception

02 November 2018

The Blues' decision to allow Mount and Tomori a chance to play at Stamford Bridge gave them the chance to see what their future might be, as they try to develop to get to the next level.

The Italian concluded: "At first it wasn't showing it, because he was very much involved in learning tactically what the team needs him to do".

The 40-year-old former England midfielder received a rapturous reception on his first return to Stamford Bridge as a manager, soaking up the atmosphere before kick-off. His forward runs were just as unsafe to Chelsea as to the opponents; both visiting goals came from the space vacated on his flank.

Despite the defeat that knocked them out of the competition, Lampard and his Derby County side can keep their head up high and brimming with pride as they put in a performance that was the ideal testament to their ambition under the new manager.

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It was every bit as "special" as Lampard had predicted, but also slightly surreal. Since Cahill's best option to avoid giving the ball away was a safe pass to Fabregas, Derby waited for him to make this pass before running at Fabregas. I thought they played really well today. Scott Carson couldn't keep out Cesc Fabregas' low-effort, but the visitors felt that Alvaro Morata was blocking his view in an offside position, and that Tom Lawrence was fouled in the build-up to the goal.

He carried himself like a manager, and after the match he spoke like one too. But I walked in the front door here and got that.

Derby are an ambitious club and can be a great platform for Lampard and co, but the onlooking Chelsea directors may dream of seeing one of the club's greatest players return to manage. So he was asked 'Do you want to work?', 'How hard can you work?' And he did that. "I'm a lucky man to have a night like that and I feel it".

Those around him didn't deal with it so well.

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Cesc Fabregas says Chelsea are seeking the right balance in the Carabao Cup by granting players opportunities while targeting the trophy. "So we didn't have control of the game". The rest of Derby's midfielders, though, blocked the passing lanes from Fabregas to Chelsea's other midfielders or full-backs. It shows testament to the boys on where we are as a team and as a group of lads.

To add to the confusion of allegiances, Marriott is a long-standing Chelsea supporter who, he had freely admitted, was living the dream by playing for Lampard at Stamford Bridge.

"His character was vast", Lampard said of Tomori.

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'Proud' Lampard appreciative of warm Chelsea reception