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Super Frankie Lampard! Chelsea end home hoodoo to lift spirit at Stamford Bridge
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There’s been a strange atmosphere on the King’s Road ahead of recent Chelsea games of late. The fans have arrived at Stamford Bridge feeling increasingly tense, after a string of shock wins for the visiting teams.

West Ham, Bournemouth and Southampton have all triumphed here in recent weeks, so it’s hardly surprising that another game against a relegation-threatened side, Burnley, prompted more trepidation among the home fans.

As it transpired, they need not have worried, with Chelsea producing arguably their most accomplished performance of the season to date in romping to a 3-0 win over Sean Dyche’s well-drilled side.

Certainly, the hosts’ cause was aided by the fact that they had no midweek game beforehand. Competing on four fronts this season has taken its toll on Lampard’s young squad and the manager clearly put his extra time on the training pitch to good use.

Before the game, he had called on his players to be braver in possession, clinical in front of goal, stronger psychologically and win more battles high up the pitch. The met every demand against Burnley.

Of course, Chelsea had won their last home game but that was in the FA Cup against a weak Nottingham Forest side. This felt like a real breakthrough.

Lampard deserves credit for picking such an attacking line-up. His hand was forced somewhat by an injury to N’Golo Kante, who broke down in training on the eve of the game, but the Blues boss picked Ross Barkley alongside Mason Mount and Jorginho in an offensively minded midfield.

The net result was that Chelsea not only dominated possession but boasted a goal threat all over the pitch.

Still, there’s no denying that they benefited from the kind of good fortune that has been conspicuous by its absence during the past few weeks, with VAR intervening when Jeff Hendrick appeared to have headed Burnley into the lead early on.

Chelsea were then gifted a penalty through Matthew Lowton’s awful tackle on Willian. Jorginho was never let such an error go unpunished. He slotted home to make it 19 successful penalties from his last 20 attempts.

In a further sign of Lampard’s attacking intent, Reece James was again deployed as a rampaging crossing machine down Chelsea’s right-hand side, so it came as no surprise when the 20-year-old supplied the second goal, with Tammy Abraham rising highest to net his 15th goal of the season.

Callum Hudson-Odoi then gave Chelsea what they haven’t had in some time at this stadium: a second half to truly enjoy. Just four minutes after the interval, the winger arrived at the back post to tap in his first Premier League goal.

Such a momentous event was unsurprisingly a source of great joy for the Chelsea faithful but Lampard will have been more pleased with his side’s all-round display. This was the kind of complete performance he had been craving.

The fans revelled in it too, of course. The 40,000-seater stadium reverberated with chants of “Super Frankie Lampard” and “There’s only one Jody Morris”, illustrating just how happy the supporters are to see two former Blues in charge after years of managerial coming and goings.

The use of homegrown coaching staff and players is something that match-going fans are enjoying, particularly as fourth-placed Chelsea are presently proving that it doesn’t have to come at the expense of good results.

Indeed, if Lampard’s team have ended their bizarre home hoodoo, they will surely realise their goal of qualifying for next season’s Champions League, which would see the manager exceed all expectations in his first season in the East Stand’s dugout.

It would also mean that strange atmosphere of tension would be replaced with the usual sense of excitement on the King’s Road.

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