Frank Lampard was pleased to see Chelsea forward Tammy Abraham get his reward with a late brace in the 3-0 win over West Ham on Monday.
The 23-year-old had not started any of the Blues’ last four league games and failed to find the net in a whole month, but got back on the scoresheet with a close-range finish in the 78th-minute at Stamford Bridge.
Two minutes later and the England forward doubled his tally when he confidently fired in from a tight angle after Christian Pulisic had been denied.
With fellow forward Timo Werner now without a goal in nine games, Abraham’s return to form was a welcome relief for Lampard, who saw his team move up to fifth in the Premier League and six points off Liverpool.
“It is good for Tammy’s confidence clearly,” the Chelsea manager said.
“You have to work for your goals and he did work for the goals today and put a lot of effort in.
“I wanted him to be a handful, I wanted to see movement and he did that. Oli (Giroud) has been doing it and scoring goals recently so it was a decision more on the opposition for Tammy (starting) and I’m pleased with how he did.
“You need people scoring goals regularly and this will do Tammy good.”
An opener from Thiago Silva in the 10th minute got Chelsea on track to bounce back after defeats at Wolves and Everton.
The victory moved them up to fifth and above Tottenham, who had been top until a 2-1 loss at Liverpool last week.
The champions returned to the summit with that win and will be there at Christmas for a third year in a row, but the Blues are only six points off them and yet their manager is not set to get carried away.
Lampard added: “It depends on us now. The league is so tough, we are seeing results every week which might surprise some.
“It is so hard for teams to sustain form and there are a culmination of things for that, so I don’t want to jump the gun. It is tough, we have Arsenal on Boxing Day, then Aston Villa and Man City in January so the onus is on us.”
Chelsea look likely to be without Ben Chilwell for the trip to the Emirates after he suffered an ankle injury to join Reece James (knee) on the treatment table.
But Lampard confirmed: “We hope both their injuries are not that bad and they will be in and around it for those Christmas fixtures.”
West Ham manager David Moyes was frustrated at the lack of chances created by his players despite a positive display at Stamford Bridge.
Aside from a second-half header off target by Sebastien Haller and Declan Rice and Jarrod Bowen having goals ruled out, they failed to significantly test Edouard Mendy in the home goal.
“We didn’t defend well enough for the last two goals certainly,” Moyes said.
“We had our chances and did a lot of good things, but not enough good things in either box when it mattered.
“I thought it was a really big test for us tonight coming to Chelsea. They had lost a few games and we knew how hard it would be. For long periods we did plenty of good things, but not enough.”
The Hammers night may have turned out differently had Bowen not been denied a goal in the 30th minute for a foul on Silva.
Moyes refused to discuss the incident, but on the performance of referee Chris Kavanagh and his team, the Scot added: “I don’t know I just thought the level wasn’t good all-round. Any decisions certainly didn’t go our way.”
Defeat for West Ham keeps them 10th in the table ahead of Sunday when Brighton will visit the London Stadium where they will hope to have Michail Antonio back fit and ready to lead the line.
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