By 90Min
October 01, 2019

Nearly two months into the season, Chelsea manager Frank Lampard is beginning to acclimatise to life at the helm at Stamford Bridge.

After a wobbly start, his side have developed something of an attacking identity over the course of the past four weeks and have looked impressive at times, even in defeat against league leaders Liverpool.

While there is an acceptance that Chelsea won't challenge for the title this season, football is a results business and results have not been perfect. While they have picked up big victories over Wolves and Grimsby, they have also slipped to two big defeats at the hands of Valencia in the Champions League and in the aforementioned visit of Jurgen Klopp's men in the league.

Lampard has already been playing the kids and he has been boosted by the return of another in Callum Hudson-Odoi. They have also picked up back-to-back victories and are within striking distance of a top four place - surely the end goal for this season.

Here's 90min's review of the month of September for Chelsea.


Best Player

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For the second month in a row, young attacking midfielder Mason Mount takes the mantle of best player - although Tammy Abraham has pushed him all the way.

After returning from England duty, Mount struck late in the emphatic win over Wolves at the start of the month and has since put in assured performances against Liverpool and Brighton despite a heavy-looking knock he took to his ankle in the Champions League defeat to Valencia.

The 20-year-old catalyst is a bundle of energy and has proven to be a goal threat too. His latest key action was winning the penalty that broke the deadlock against Brighton on Saturday, as he pinched the ball from Adam Webster who conspired to wipe him out.

With Hudson-Odoi returning to fitness there is the prospect of as front line of him, Abraham and Mount - something that would have been unthinkable just months ago.


Worst Player

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It speaks volumes that Kurt Zouma has already lost his starting place in Frank Lampard's plans.

The Frenchman has fallen behind Fikayo Tomori in the pecking order, and you would imagine that Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger already sit higher in Lampard's estimations.

A goal against Grimsby will have boosted his confidence, but the fact he played in that match at all is a bad sign. He was nowhere to be seen when both Liverpool and Valencia scored from set pieces.


Best Performance

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The 5-2 win over Wolves was great, but let's focus on an individual performance.

The international break took a big chunk out of the month's domestic football, but when the Premier League returned Tammy Abraham grabbed the opportunity Frank Lampard afforded him by the scruff of the neck.

The 21-year-old netted a fine hat-trick on the road agains Wolves, and although the goals have since dried up, the signs are that he will continue to score goals.

His movement has been excellent, and he could and perhaps should have scored against Valencia, Liverpool and Brighton in the games since, in all of which he missed a gilt-edged chance.

Despite the dry patch, he has made himself the Blues' first-choice striker well ahead of schedule - Lamps will be delighted.


Worst Performance

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Chelsea's worst performance by far in September was the meek 1-0 defeat to Valencia at Stamford Bridge in the opening group game of their Champions League campaign.

They may have lost to Liverpool in the league, but they went down with a fight. That was not the case against Los Ches. The Blues missed a series of half-chances in the first-half and were hit by the hammer blow with 15 minutes left on the clock as Rodrigo converted a Dani Parejo free-kick.

Their misery was compounded when Ross Barkley now infamously blasted a late penalty over the bar after an extensive discussion with his teammates over who would take it. The signs were that there might be some discontent in the camp, but they have thankfully recovered and won their two games since.


Best Goal

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Although N'Golo Kanté's wonderful individual effort against Liverpool deserves credit, there is only one winner in this category.

Fikayo Tomori has excelled since he was brought into the starting lineup by Lampard - something that would have been inconceivable while he was on loan at Derby last season.

He capped his fine start to life in the first-choice XI by curling home a wonderful 30-yard strike, opening the scoring in the 5-2 win over Wolves at Molineux.

Just look at it.


Rating

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While results haven't been perfect, it was certainly a better month than August for the Blues.

The underserved defeat to Liverpool aside, they have won their other league games and their attacking style of play appears to be developing nicely under Frank Lampard's tutelage.

Evidently, things will need to improve in the Champions League, but there is plenty of time to recover in the group stage and their pool is not the hardest, on paper at least.

October brings a string of winnable league fixtures and European trips to Lille and Amsterdam. Lampard will be hoping the gradual improvement continues.

Rating: 7/10

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