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Frank Lampard has group of three Chelsea players that impressed him despite Man Utd defeat

  /  autty

Frank Lampard was impressed by three Chelsea players in particular as he suffered his eighth defeat in 10 matches since taking over the Blues on an interim basis

Despite Chelsea being comprehensively beaten at Manchester United in their penultimate game of the season, there were still a number of positives for interim head coach Frank Lampard to take away from Old Trafford.

The Blues were beaten 4-1 in Manchester, in what is their second defeat in the north west in a matter of days. Goals from Casemiro, Anthony Martial, Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford were enough for United to secure three points and a place in next season's Champions League, while Joao Felix scored a fine solo effort late on as some sort of consolation for Chelsea.

The 4-1 scoreline doesn't tell the whole story, though, with the Blues actually playing some decent attacking football. Typically, however, there was a lack of end product from Lampard's side, something they've become accustomed to throughout what has been a disastrous season.

Lampard made a number of changes to his Chelsea side for the trip to Old Trafford with some players being handed a rare start. That includes Carney Chukwuemeka, who started his first game since the 1-0 win against Crystal Palace way back in the middle of January. Noni Madueke and Mykhailo Mudryk also came back into the side for Lampard, who put out an attacking side against United.

Cesar Azpilicueta also kept his place with Reece James still out injured, despite struggling against Man City a few days prior. However, the Chelsea captain performed excellently at Old Trafford and was perhaps the side's strongest defender on the night. Azpilicueta, who could well call time on his 11-year stay at Stamford Bridge in the summer transfer window, caught the eye of Lampard.

"I don't want to go into individuals," Lampard explained to reporters after the game in Manchester. "I thought Carney did really well today coming into midfield with personality.

"It has been one of the harder parts of my job with the numbers in the squad, the balance. Going with a team to win important games and working with the younger players who we haven't seen before because normally there is a process and a pre-season.

"We haven't had that time. I thought Carney did well, I thought Noni did pretty well again and the flip of that was that Azpi was fantastic with his captaincy and attitude. 70% of the game is how you apply yourself and your attitude."

Lampard now faces just one more game as interim Chelsea head coach, at home to Newcastle United on Sunday. The Blues boss has taken charge of 10 games in all competitions and has only won the one game – away at Bournemouth at the start of May. It's been an incredibly difficult period for Lampard to come in and try to rejuvenate an underperforming squad and it remains a big task for the next manager.

"It's a good headline, but I don't know," he responded. "It remains to be seen, I cannot jump into the future. I think it is a fantastic job because it is the Chelsea job and when I took it the first time I came I probably got it because a lot of top managers didn't want that, I know that for a fact.

"I enjoyed the process and I enjoyed coming in and I wish the new manager well. I don't know, it's his problem I guess. Is that the headline you wanted?"