Lampard stresses ‘respect’ for Mourinho ahead of key match

Chelsea's head coach Frank Lampard reacts during the soccer match between Rennes and Chelsea on Nov. 24, 2020. (AP Photo/David Vincent)
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Updated 28 November 2020

Lampard stresses ‘respect’ for Mourinho ahead of key match

LONDON: Chelsea boss Frank Lampard believes Jose Mourinho is as good a manager as he has ever been, insisting he respects his former boss despite recent spats.

Mourinho’s Tottenham are top of the Premier League ahead of this weekend’s fixtures, just two points clear of Chelsea.

The Portuguese has enjoyed huge success throughout his career but struggled toward the end of his spell at Manchester United and took time to find his feet at Spurs.

The two managers clashed on the touchline in their League Cup meeting in September and last year Mourinho suggested Lampard had used former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte’s tactics to beat Spurs in the league.

But Lampard, who won two Premier League titles under Mourinho at Stamford Bridge, played down the incidents and said the Portuguese was still a top manager.

“You don’t get a record as decorated as Jose Mourinho has as a manager without being a very talented coach,” he said.

“For all of us the game is so reactionary at the moment, particularly in the modern era, with social media reactions, that form will always be judged very harshly for any manager.”

Lampard, who is in his second season in charge at Chelsea, said he was not surprised by anything management threw at him.

“I’ve got respect for Jose as a manager and I think that’s just how it is,” he said. “I didn’t take any offense to the talk of Antonio Conte’s system or whatever.”

“Jose can have his opinions and it’s not a problem,” he added. “I’ve got respect for him and it’s nothing contentious for me.”

Sunday’s match will be the 1,000th game since Roman Abramovich became owner of Chelsea, transforming the club from also-rans to serial trophy contenders.

Since Abramovich’s takeover in 2003, the Blues have won five Premier League titles, the club’s only Champions League, two Europa Leagues, five FA Cups and three League Cups.

“As manager and as a player who was involved in a lot of those games I can give him a huge thank you because nothing that we have achieved in the Roman Abramovich era could have happened without him and his support,” said Lampard.

“Whether you’re talking about firstly the financial input but also the development of the training ground, the love and time put into the academy and the trophies we’ve been able to win have all been made possible because of him.”


France’s Stephane Peterhansel wins Dakar Rally for 14th time

Updated 15 January 2021

France’s Stephane Peterhansel wins Dakar Rally for 14th time

  • Peterhansel, nicknamed ‘Mr Dakar’, has now won the car category eight times

JEDDAH: France’s Stephane Peterhansel on Friday won the Dakar Rally for the 14th time, 30 years after his initial success in the most gruelling event on motorsport’s calendar.
Peterhansel, nicknamed ‘Mr Dakar’, has now won the car category eight times, having also won the motorbike category six times.
The 55-year-old Mini driver, aided by co-pilot Edouard Boulanger, finished ahead of Qatari Nasser Al-Attiyah (Toyota), with Spain’s Carlos Sainz rounding out the podium in another Mini.
Peterhansel’s victory came shortly after news that French motorcyclist Pierre Cherpin had died from his injuries after a fall, becoming the race’s first fatality this year.
Argentina’s Kevin Benavides won the motorbike category, leading home defending champion Ricky Brabec of the United States in a first Honda 1-2 since 1987.
Briton Sam Sunderland, the 2017 champion, finished third.
Benavides, who broke his nose in a crash on the fifth stage that saw his helmet shattered, became the first South American to win the category, calling it “absolutely crazy.”
“I went at 110 percent, but now it’s true: I’ve won the Dakar — I’m so, so happy! I did some mistakes, for sure. I think it’s impossible to do a perfect Dakar,” he said.
“The important thing is to always continue, to stay calm and focused day by day and to work hard day by day.”
Brabec admitted to feeling “pretty bummed” at not defending his title, but added that “number two will work.”
“I didn’t even know that Honda had already won a one and two finish. I wasn’t even born in 1987! It’s cool to go one and two again.”