Frank Lampard has finally gotten his first win as Chelsea manager.
Mount and Kovacic impressed in the manager’s first victory, but a lack of clinical edge up front could cause the Blues issues going forward
After the disappointment of conceding a late, late equaliser against League of Ireland side Bohemians on Wednesday, the Blues did not let history repeat itself as they dominated St Patrick’s Athletic to finish off their early pre-season preparations in Dublin.
Lampard’s Chelsea now fly out to Japan to take on Kawasaki Frontale and Barcelona, but the same concerns remain – can the Europa League champions rely on Olivier Giroud to provide the goals yet again?
Chelsea fielded two entirely different XIs as Lampard focuses on building the fitness of his players and gets to know his squad. The first-half saw the Blues play in a 4-4-2 diamond with a frontline of Tammy Abraham and Michy Batshuayi, but despite having nine shots between them, neither could find the net.
St Pat’s were no match for Chelsea for large spells of the match, having made nine changes from the side which played in Europa League qualifying just two days earlier.
However, it was Chelsea’s midfield that did all the hard work in attack. Mateo Kovacic, now a permanent fixture after the Blues activated the purchase option in his loan, provided the assist for the opener, splitting the defence in two to gift Mason Mount a goal.
The 20-year-old finished smartly and was deserving of his goal after putting in an excellent all-round performance. Having spent last season on loan at Lampard’s Derby, both manager and midfielder already know how to work together and Mount should get plenty of opportunities to shine back at his parent club.