Chelsea boss Frank Lampard admitted his side’s recent defensive frailties were fresh in their minds after revealing his pleasure at securing a crucial clean sheet.
The Blues kicked off their Champions League campaign with a hard-fought 0-0 draw with Spanish outfit Sevilla.
The scoreline came in stark contrast to what Chelsea fans have become used to in the Premier League, with goals at either end a common feature since Lampard’s arrival.
Speaking to BT Sport, Lampard noted his satisfaction with their increased defensive rigidity, though couldn’t hide his disappointment at coming away with just one point.
“It feels good to get the clean sheet, it’s something you always strive for,” said Lampard. “Thiago Silva was excellent, he has experience and quality.
“Edouard Mendy had one save to make and he made a good save, he was good with his feet. Against a good team, it was a very organised performance from us.
“Sevilla pose a lot of threat – the crosses and balls into the box, they played really well and they’ve got quality.
“We had a few moments in the game, it was cagey and the two teams seemed to be cancelling each other out in the first half which was understandable. We take the point and move on.
“Both teams seemed happy with the point I think. We conceded a goal in the last minute the other day so when you have that feeling fresh in your mind it’s not nice.
“So this game will give us confidence but we haven’t’ had the personnel in training regularly and the more we have that the better we will get.
“When you play in the Champions League sometimes you rely on a moment but for us tonight it didn’t quite come. The last bit wasn’t there today, but we can’t complain, we’ve scored a lot of goals in the Premier League so far so we have to be happy with the clean sheet.
“We have to build, its a long season and we’re in the early stage of it – it’s a good start in a difficult group.”
Chelsea hard work paid off – Chilwell
Despite being made to settle for a point, Blues full-back Ben Chilwell highlighted the importance of a clean sheet after their defence’s recent shakiness.
He told BT Sport: “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.
“In general as a team it was, I won’t say comfortable because we were under pressure at times, but we were organised as a team. I thought defensively we were very good.
“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.
“It was disappointing to have no fans but as a team the motivation was there regardless of that, especially for people like me who are new to it all.”