Frank Lampard admitted it was a “big deal” for his Chelsea players to get a clean sheet.
Lampard was probably the happiest manager you could find in the Champions League after a goalless draw but, incredibly, it was his first since he took charge at Stamford Bridge 15 months ago.
It also came against top class European opposition as keeper Edouard Mendy showed his quality by making several top class saves against Europa League holders Sevilla.
Chelsea boss Lampard, whose side lost their opening Champions League Group match of last season to Valencia, said: “The threat of losing the first game like we did las season meant the clean sheet was a big deal for us.
“I’m happy with a 0-0. I’m pleased for the players, happy with the result and also with how the lads defended.
“They are a top quality side and to keep a clean sheet is a nice sign for us.”
Chelsea defender Ben Chilwell added: “We are a top team and when you’re playing for Chelsea you expect clean sheets and if you concede goals you will get criticism.
We’ve been working hard on the training pitch and we’ve showed that we’re a strong outfit defensively.
“The important thing is the clean sheet. We knew people would be looking at us after conceding three goals at the weekend.
“We were solid defensively against a good team and didn’t give them many chances so we’ll take a draw and a clean sheet.
“We were organised as a team. I thought defensively we were very good.”
Lampard also insisted the decision to put Petr Cech in their Premier League squad was nothing to do with “romance” – and he is still in good shape despite being 38 and retiring over a year ago.
Lampard added: “He’s fit, very fit. He’s still relatively young. Pete finished playing when he could have probably carried on and taken on his role at Chelsea which he does very well. He’s very helpful to me and we work closely.
“Whether we’ll see him I’m not so sure. It depends how the season goes with Covid and isolations. I certainly felt it was a no brainer to have Pete in the squad for that reason and he can only help the goalkeepers we have.
“He’s one of the best in the world in the modern era.”
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