Frank Lampard responds to Mourinho’s three-at-the-back Chelsea prediction

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Frank Lampard has revealed that he expected Tottenham to sit back and defend deep in the London derby on Saturday.

Spurs set up with a back five and matched up Chelsea’s system with three in midfield, but the Chelsea boss has insisted that he wasn’t surprised by Jose Mourinho’s decision.

Lampard told Chelsea’s official website: “In a game where I expected Tottenham to be deep, which they were in the first half – you know you can find him and he can bring people into the game.”

The away side’s approach didn’t work though, as the Blues broke the deadlock early and proceeded to dominate the majority of the game.

Mourinho had revealed before the game that he had been told that Chelsea would set up with three central defenders, just as they did for the reverse fixture back in December. When asked how he knew, the Spurs boss refused to reveal his sources (Football.London).

Lampard admitted that it wasn’t hard to suss out how his side was going to line up given that they have employed the same system in big games in the past.

Speaking to the Evening Standard, the 41-year-old said: “I expected a matchup (in the system). I expected Jose to know which way we were going to go.

“Whether that’s because we did it last time or he has probably some connections at our training ground as well. But he’s matched up and now that’s for the players.

“The matchup is a test, a challenge for us. They’re physical, they’re big and we have to take that challenge on positively.

Responding to Mourinho’s prediction about how his side would set up, Lampard told Football.London: “Serious. That’s the world we live in. When you have been working on that.

“We have previous on playing in the way we play. It only works if Ross and Mason are mobile. It is the players who enforce it.”

Spurs Web Opinion

At this point, we are becoming fairly predictable ourselves in how we approach big games. We seem content to set a mid to low block and let the opposition monopolise possession. Our only chances of scoring seem to be either winning the ball in the opposition half and springing a counter or Toby pinning one long on to someone’s run.

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