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Chelsea boss Frank Lampard started Marcos Alonso ahead of Emerson against Ajax with N’Golo Kante named on the bench.
According to Lampard, he made the decision to start Alonso ahead of Emerson and name Kante on the bench in order to keep Emerson and Kante fit for the upcoming matches following their recent fitness issues.
“Emerson has been out for about seven weeks, had a re-injury with it when he came back against Liverpool, so there’s probably a note of caution about it, in a way,” Lampard told BT Sport.
“He played well at the weekend, he did a lot of work in those 90 minutes so we’re protecting him a little bit, but Marcos has done well when he’s been playing so I’ve got good options there.
“It just made sense to err on the side of caution with him. Similarly with N’Golo, I keep saying he’s played so many games in the last four years to such success so he was getting little niggles.
“I want to give him a bit of love and a bit of care, that’s part of it. He’s had a good week or so training, he’s got good running in him and the tools, so it’s a good time to be on the bench, we need him because he’s world class, everyone knows that.”