The Italian midfielder had previously been successful as the Blues’ designated spot-kick taker, but now appears to have handed the reins over to summer signing Timo Werner after missing from 12 yards against both Liverpool and Krasnodar.
Werner made no such mistake in that same 4-0 Champions League rout in Russia last week and stepped up again to score two penalties in Wednesday’s 3-0 win over 10-man Rennes after Brazilian left-back Dalbert was punished for a foul on the German and a later controversial first-half handball for which he received a second yellow card.
There are plenty of past examples of squabbles over penalties causing unnecessary on-pitch conflict among players, so Lampard was evidently thrilled with Jorginho’s professional reaction to ceding the role to Werner.
“‘It was not an easy decision because Jorginho has been pretty faultless for us. It’s hard from me,” Lampard said.
“He’s missed two recently, Timo came in and scored one in our last game.
“I had a conversation with Jorginho and his answer was perfect from a professional, he doesn’t care who takes them he just wants to score, that’s how he approaches it.
“Timo takes them tonight, Timo is the taker at the moment and he took them very emphatically, so I’m happy.”
Overall, Lampard was very pleased with a third successive comfortable win for Chelsea that extended their unbeaten run to seven matches across all competitions and kept them top of Champions League Group E, narrowly ahead of Sevilla.
A fifth successive clean sheet combined with three more goals also lended further weight to the belief that the manager has now found a successful balance between defence and his expensively assembled attack after initially struggling in that regard this season.
“It shows the work we’re doing and direction we’re going,” Lampard said. “We did the right things in every aspect – started well, got our goals, saw the game out and had the chance to give others minutes later on.
“The professional elements of our game were good against good opposition. We couldn’t underestimate them and we saw when it was 11 v 11 that they’re a physical, technical team but we won pretty well.”
He added: “I’m pleased because it’s work, it’s the team, it’s players that are in there confident and fit.
“We’re working as a collective, with individuals within that performing well at the back-end of the team and that’s good for us.
“These stats are great but we can’t come off it at all and that’s why I’m pleased we saw it through at the end.”
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