MANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Sept 21, 2014 (AFP) – Manuel Pellegrini blasted Chelsea as a “small” team and predicted more to come from Frank Lampard who scored against his former club in a tense 1-1 Premier League draw.
Lampard, 36, has joined City on loan from MLS side New York City until the new year after ending his 13-year stay at Chelsea in pre-season.
The midfielder, who called time on his England career last month, was a substitute at half-time as he made his debut in the 2-2 draw at Arsenal last week.
But after he scored a goal that prevented City from falling eight points behind in the title race, Pellegrini was expecting more of the same in the next three months.
“When I spoke with Lampard, it was not to make him a favourite to stay at Manchester City, it was because I was absolutely sure he will be a very useful player for our team,” the manager explained.
“He has nothing to do in New York until January when they start the season there.
“It was very important for him to continue working every day and playing in our team but also it was very important for our team to have a player with the experience and quality of Frank Lampard.”
Chelsea looked set to pick up an important win when substitute Andre Schurrle turned in from Eden Hazard’s cross shortly after City’s Pablo Zabaleta had been sent off at Eastlands on Sunday.
But seven minutes after coming off the bench, Lampard scored with a typical late run into the box as he turned in James Milner’s cross to earn a point.
Pellegrini was critical of Chelsea’s approach, describing them as playing like a “small team” and comparing them to Stoke.
“It think we played 90 minutes against a small team trying to defend, trying to keep 10 players in front of their goal, and (we were) a team that wanted to win from the beginning,” he said.