Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic dropped to the bench for the 2-1 victory over Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on Thursday night.
According to Simon Phillips of The Sun, Chelsea boss Frank Lampard dropped Kovacic for Ross Barkley in the game against Manchester City because he wanted quick players full of energy, rather than ball playing possession-based players like Jorginho and Kovacic.
“It has been a tale of two games for Chelsea since returning from lockdown,” Simon Phillips wrote for The Sun.
“They totally bossed the game against Aston Villa at the weekend having the lion’s share of possession, but against Manchester City this evening they had to ‘suffer without the ball’ a lot.
“You will recognise this term from Antonio Conte’s time at Chelsea.
“The Italian liked to set up defensively and make his teams hard to break down.
“Jose Mourinho is also known for doing this and playing a more counter attacking style of play.
“Tonight we saw the current Chelsea boss Frank Lampard set up in a similar way, by sitting off City and dropping his usual high press.
“He stacked the starting eleven with quick players full of energy, rather than ball playing possession-based players like Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic.
It looked to be a clear game plan in order to frustrate City, keep a deep defensive line and try and get a result by counter attacking.”