Frank Lampard sends message to Billy Gilmour after subbing Chelsea wonderkid at half-time against Leicester

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Billy Gilmour had a difficult game against Leicester (Picture: Getty)

 

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard was apologetic after subbing Billy Gilmour at half-time in his side’s 1-0 win against Leicester and says the midfielder will become a ‘top player’ at Stamford Bridge.

Gilmour burst onto the scene with two fantastic performances in Chelsea’s wins against Liverpool and Everton in March and he was making his first start for the Blues since football restarted earlier this month as Lampard’s side took on Leicester at the KingPower Stadium.

Despite Ross Barkley’s second half goal sending Chelsea through, the Blues were lucky not to be behind at half-time after a sloppy and shaky start to the game.

Lampard made a number of changes to his starting line-up but he rectified that by making three subs at half-time, taking off Gilmour, Reece James and Mason Mount.

Chelsea improved immeasurably after the restart, with Lampard describing the first half as his side’s worst performance of the season.

However, despite Lampard’s anger at the first half display, he says he could have substituted any number of players and it was not just Gilmour that was below-par.

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Gilmour will be a ‘top player’ says Lampard (Picture: Getty)

 

‘First half is not what we are used to in terms of performance,’ said Lampard.

‘We lacked intensity. I could have made more or different subs for more urgency because it was such a lethargic performance. We dragged out of it, to be fair.

‘The second half, there were glimpses of it [Chelsea’s normal play] and I am delighted we came through.

‘If we don’t turn up to games like today, then we have no chance. We were lucky today. The players that came off are young lads and are going to be top players.

In a later interview, Lampard said his youngsters lacked match sharpness and that they will contribute as the season goes on.

‘Mason has given a lot of input in two games this week,’ said Lampard.

‘Reece hasn’t played in a long time, Billy the same. They are going to be top players for this club no matter what.

‘It’s just a fact of how I saw the game. They all train well, have great work ethic. It was just the circumstances today.’

Chelsea are through to the semi-finals alongside rivals Arsenal and Manchester United.

Manchester City are favourites for the tournament and face Newcastle in the quarter-finals.

The draw for the semi-finals will take place at half-time at St James’ Park.

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