Frank Lampard delighted with Thiago Silva after defender scores in West Ham victory

Frank Lampard, Manager of Chelsea reacts during the Premier League match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on December 21, 2020 in London, England.

Frank  Lampard has insisted Thiago Silva has exceeded expectations after he continued his fine form by playing a starring role in Chelsea's win over West Ham.

The Brazilian has become a central figure in the Chelsea defence this season and was again a standout performer on Monday night. 

The 36-year-old helped Chelsea keep a clean sheet and return to winning ways after back-to-back defeats by scoring a powerful header to set them on their way to a comfortable 3-0 victory.

Chelsea had struggled defensively last season but have noticeably become more assured and resolute at the back since Silva's arrival in the summer.

And Blues boss Lampard spoke highly of the former Paris Saint-Germain defender after his performance inspired them to victory, saying: “I remember playing in the Premier League at 36 and couldn't play like he is playing week in week out.

“I was in and out of the team and could feel it at that stage in my career. 

“I know he's been a great player for a long time, but the pressures of the Premier League when you've played in France for so long, no disrespect. But he's exceeded (my expectations) probably, but really I shouldn't have been surprised.

“I can see the quality, the preparation, the desire to win headers and he is very studious about the game. He has been a great addition on and off the pitch.”

Lampard added: “The defence were great. Thiago was the leader but [Cesar] Azpilicueta came in and did brilliantly.

“As full-backs, you have to defend your zone when they're crossing the ball again and again. 

“They're very good at set-pieces so it's something that we've worked on a lot in training and personnel like Thiago clearly help a lot.

“Some of our defending of the box this season has been really good and consistent and that has to stay, particularly against opponents like we had tonight.”

Striker Tammy Abraham bagged a brace late on in the second half to seal the three points as Chelsea moved up to fifth and back into title contention.

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