Frank Lampard was satisfied with the side’s display in Moscow on Thursday night as we advanced into the last four of the Europa League.
Beaten 3-2 on the night, we were 5-4 winners on aggregate having triumphed at Stamford Bridge seven days earlier, and now look forward to another semi-final appearance.
Having taken the lead early on we were eventually pegged back and overhauled by a Rubin Kazan side that was much improved after half-time on a tricky synthetic surface, but Lampard was pleased to see us do enough to progress.
‘We knew it would be a tough game,’ the midfielder admitted afterwards. ‘We played well in the first half and scored the early goal but it was difficult on the pitch and difficult for us to adapt, so overall I thought it was a good performance and a good result.
‘They’ve got a great record against the top teams this year so it was always going to be a hard game but I thought we did a very professional job.’
Discussing the pitch, Lampard felt it changed the dynamic of the game.
‘It was tough, we have an artificial pitch at Cobham but we don’t use it much because it’s quite tough on the legs. It was like that, your movement was different and the bounce and run of the ball was different,’ he explained.
‘On the long balls it kicks on and the shorter ones it holds up. We trained on it on Wednesday, so it’s no excuse, and I think we did okay.’
With semi-final opponents to be discovered later today, Lampard made clear the club’s position on the competition.
‘We haven’t maligned it, the players or manager of this club,’ he said. ‘You drop out of the Champions League and come into it so of course there’s disappointment but the minute you start playing the games you need to go as far as you can. The nearer you get it becomes higher on your agenda, but I think we’ve shown a very professional attitude towards all our games.
‘The club needs to win silverware. It’s been around silverware for many years and when you get used to it, it makes you hungrier to do it.’