Frank Lampard praises his Chelsea players after FA Cup victory

‘Today was a performance of huge character’: Frank Lampard praises his Chelsea players after FA Cup semi-final victory

  • Frank Lampard has praised his Chelsea players after FA Cup semi-final victory
  • The Blues cruised to a 3-1 win over Manchester United at Wembley Stadium
  • Lampard said his players showed great ‘character and work ethic’ during the win
  • The Chelsea boss also defended Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea 

Frank Lampard heaped praise on Chelsea’s players after overcoming Manchester United to reach the FA Cup final on a night when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer once again had to defend David De Gea.

An empty Wembley Stadium played host to the top-four rivals’ fourth meeting of the season, with the Blues making amends in some style for defeats in the three previous encounters.

Olivier Giroud put Chelsea ahead in first-half stoppage time, with De Gea somehow letting through a long-range Mason Mount strike moments into the second half before Harry Maguire scored an own goal.

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard heaped praise on his players after FA Cup semi-final victory

Mason Mount was amongst the goal scorers as Chelsea cruised to a 3-1 win against Man United

Bruno Fernandes’ late penalty was scant consolation as the Blues won 3-1 to set-up an all-London final with Arsenal on August 1.

‘Obviously it is a great achievement for us to get there,’ Chelsea boss Lampard said. ‘To win a semi is a great thing, to win a final is the thing.

‘We don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves but we can certainly enjoy the performance and the result today.

‘I’m not sure where it ranks in the season. It is obviously right up there because of the size of the game and quality of the opponent.

Lampard praised the work ethic and character of his players as they reached FA Cup final

‘But we have had some good performances this season. We are progressing, we are getting better.

‘There are always going to be some bumps but today was a performance of huge character, personality, work ethic, quality, so I’m very happy.’

The key moment came within a minute of the second half getting under way as Mount lapped up a wayward Brandon Williams pass and hit a long-range effort that De Gea somehow let squirm through.

Asked if targeting the United goalkeeper was something he had in his mind, former Chelsea midfielder Lampard said: ‘It wasn’t because I’ve got huge respect for him as a goalkeeper.

‘I know people will always home in on keepers when they make those errors because they’re critical for them.

The Chelsea boss also came to the defence of Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea

‘But all I did say to Mason at half-time was that I want to see him strike through balls more.

‘He had a shot in the first half, he tried to kind of whip it or bend it and, for me, outside the box against top keepers – and De Gea’s a top keeper – you have to strike through them.

‘Of course he didn’t catch it brilliantly and it goes in, probably down as a mistake.

‘But my job is to worry about my players and with Mason I just wanted him to shoot more. Fortunately three minutes after I said it, he did.’

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