When it comes to Chelsea, the kids are alright. Everyone knows that Frank Lampard and assistant Jody Morris are building something special at Stamford Bridge, but the Blues’ 4-0 defeat of (an admittedly lacklustre and plodding) Everton made a few more converts among the neutrals. Chelsea were 2-0 up after 21 minutes of Sunday afternoon’s
When it comes to Chelsea, the kids are alright.
Everyone knows that Frank Lampard and assistant Jody Morris are building something special at Stamford Bridge, but the Blues’ 4-0 defeat of (an admittedly lacklustre and plodding) Everton made a few more converts among the neutrals.
Chelsea were 2-0 up after 21 minutes of Sunday afternoon’s match, with Mason Mount performing a balletic turn-and-shoot on 15 minutes to beat Jordan Pickford, then Pedro – fed by Ross Barkley via Olivier Giroud via teenage sensation Billy Gilmour – rifled home a second.
It was 3-0 six minutes after the break; Willian hammering home into the unreachable corner of the net, with the fourth goal flicked in by Giroud on 55 minutes. Only Pickford’s heroic saves kept the score from being more embarrassing for the Toffees.
Looking through Billy Gilmour’s eyes, as it were, this was a sensational afternoon. He darted, passed, encouraged and starred in an overall team effort that ranks as one of the best for years.
He is so cool on the ball. The 18-year-old, who appeared in the youth team just a week or so ago, ensured that former gaffer Carlo Ancelotti endured a miserable return to the Bridge.
For a full Premier League debut, Gilmour’s appearance was simply the man-of-the-match effort. It came as, initially, Frank Lampard looked to be short of options with Jorginho suspended, Mateo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante injured, and Calum Hudson-Odoi, Christian Pulisic and Ruben Loftus-Cheek unfit.
“We have injuries, but that gives opportunity, so we don’t want to moan, especially when Billy Gilmour plays how he plays, and Ross Barkley and Mason Mount, and the collective of the team,” said Lampard, quite rightly heaping praise on Barkley, who was consistently booed by his former Everton supporters, until he silenced the boos by magnificent play.
“It reminded me of some of the performances we have lost at home this season – lots of good play and chances but we haven’t taken them. We can reflect on this, what we did, and it was comfortable,” added Lamps.
Gilmour himself was modest. “You have to trust in your own ability,” he said. Lampard lauded the little Scot’s ‘game intelligence’.
Whatever’s happening at the Bridge, this is the most exciting time to be a young Chelsea player. The manager is willing to give you chances, and in the process he’s creating a youthful superstar team. Other clubs should take note.
Chelsea used three 18-year-olds in the game – Gilmour, Tino Anjorin and Armando Broja – becoming the first team to field three players aged 18 or younger in the same Premier League game since May 2016.