Joe Cole singled out Antonio Rudiger for praise after Chelsea dominated the Premier League game against Newcastle.
An own goal from Federico Fernandez set the blues on their way and, after they missed a number of chances, Tammy Abraham sealed all three points, capitalising on superb play from Timo Werner.
Edouard Mendy was rarely troubled and he kept his seventh clean sheet in nine matches with Rudiger stepping in for Thiago Silva ,who wasn’t risked after his involvement with Brazil over the break.
Rudiger was close to leaving Chelsea in the summer but he was superb at the heart of his side’s defence in what was his first Premier League game of the season.
Cole told BT Sport: ‘It’s the nature of the beast when you’re at a club like Chelsea or any of the big boys, you know every summer they are bringing in players to strengthen.
‘They’re not bringing in players to come and sit on the bench, they are bringing in players to make an impact on the pitch.
‘Rudiger is a difficult one because he’s been captain and he’s a senior player but you have to give credit where credit is due.
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‘It’s a difficult day for him. He’s come in and pitched it right. It looked like the biggest credit I could pay him is that Thiago Silva wasn’t even missed one bit. He just came in did his job and it was an exceptional performance.’
Silva played two matches for his country over the course of the last fortnight and ahead of the clash with Newcastle, Lampard said he would leave him out of the team.
‘He travelled back from south america it was a long journey he arrived back on Thursday afternoon,’ he said. ‘I think it was a smart thing. We’ve got players, we’ve got a squad, Toni Rudiger comes in. We’ve got centre-backs and we want players to come in and keep the same levels.
‘Thiago has set a fantastic standard, we’ve got the age situation we have to look after him here and there so he drops out.’