Why Chelsea's generosity to Frank Lampard may come back to haunt them

Frank Lampard with the Champions League trophy

Frank Lampard played 649 games at Chelsea scoring 211 goals and won the Champions League with the Blues in 2012

On Tuesday, Burton Albion and Bournemouth booked their places in the quarter-finals while Premier League leaders Manchester City play Fulham on Thursday.

Walking in through the front door is an altogether different experience, and one you sense that even Lampard - who has been back to Stamford Bridge many times since his retirement from playing - was a little unprepared for.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek starts, albeit in a more forward role on the wing, with Willian on the other side and Alvaro Morata upfront for Chelsea as they take on Derby County in the Carabao Cup. When, after all, have Chelsea kicked off a tie with 13 of their own players on the pitch from the start, as well as their most prolific scorer overseeing the opposition from the dugout?

It was every bit as "special" as Lampard had predicted, but also slightly surreal. "I thought he handled it really well".

However, the key goal finally came a Chelsea player when Cesc Fabregas found the net with his first strike at Stamford Bridge since August 2017.

This is actually the truth, Man Utd so far have conceded just three goals in 10 matches, Liverpool have conceded four while Chelsea have conceded seven. "I've got a job to do", he insisted.

Goalkeeper: Sarri is expected to take the opportunity to give number one goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga a rest so Willy Caballero should get a rare run out in goal tomorrow night.

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

"I'm so thankful to the Chelsea fans", added Lampard, whose name was chanted by the home supporters throughout the match.

"I was there with Kerry [Dixon], and if someone had told me Kerry Dixon's records would be smashed I'd have said I'm not sure I believe you, then if they said they'd be smashed by a midfielder. It doesn't feel like a defeat, but it's a benchmark for how we want to play from now on in". Oh so, so close for Derby!

Perhaps that was everything, but it was hard not to link Chelsea's fluctuating concentration levels with the fact that the focus of Stamford Bridge so often drifted to the visiting dugout.

Derby were faced with the possibility of not being able to use two players who have established themselves as regular first-teamers since joining on loan from Chelsea, only to see the Blues grant permission to field the pair.

Chelsea dumped Frank Lampard's Derby out of the League Cup on Wednesday despite a valiant effort by the Championship side to battle back from a defensive Halloween horror show.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek is now enjoying the best goalscoring spell of his career, netting in two consecutive games for the first time.

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