Carlo praises match-winner Lampard

Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti praised the ice-cool nerve of Frank

Lampard after he earned the Blues three valuable points with a late


Lampard, who missed his last penalty against Manchester City,

kept his concentration to score from the spot after Branislav

Ivanovic had been fouled by Portsmouth defender Marc Wilson.

Nicolas Anelka had given the Blues a first-half lead only for

Frederic Piquionne to level five minutes after the re-start. But

Lampard’s winner also ruined the return of former Chelsea boss

Avram Grant.

The Israeli was back at Stamford Bridge for the first time

since he was sacked in the summer of 2008.

“I have trust in Frank because he shoots penalties very

well,” said Ancelotti. “He missed a penalty at Manchester City but

he’s the best penalty taker for us.

“It was a very good penalty tonight because it was not easy.

There was a lot of pressure on that penalty. He did very well.”

But Ancelotti also accepted that Chelsea once again lost

their way again once Pompey had levelled. “We lost our composure

for 15 minutes and, for that period, it was difficult,” added the


“But we deserved to win the game. I don’t know why we’re

losing that composure. After four games without a victory, and when

Portsmouth equalised, we didn’t have confidence that we would win

the game.

“Probably that was because we didn’t win in the last four

games. It is a moment – it was important to return to winning ways.

We did that. We did a good job, not a beautiful job.

“I’m happy because it was becoming a difficult game after

they’d equalised. We had 15 minutes in the second half which were

no good. We lost our composure. But, then, we had a very good

reaction. We changed something on the pitch, put fresh players on,

and had a very good reaction until the end of the game.

“We deserved to win, but that was the most important thing

after four games without a victory. The first aim was always to

win. The players are not suffering from nerves, no. They are not

nervous. In this case, we can do better. We have a lot of players

with strong personalities. Communication in this case is the most

important thing.”

Pompey remain rooted to the foot of the Barclays Premier but

coach Grant was pleased with the performance of his side.

“We played well,” said Grant. “We played against a team who

are very strong at home. But they didn’t create many chances and in

the second half we had two big chances. But they scored a goal from

no chance really. The result is disappointing but the performance

was good.

“Of course it was a penalty. Marc is a very good young player

but sometimes inexperience costs. He made a mistake but he is a

very good player. It was a pity because I could not see how Chelsea

would score.”

Grant was also touched by the reception from Chelsea fans who

still recognise his efforts in taking the club to their only

Champions League cup final in 2008.

“It was touching,” he added. “It was a great year and the

reception made my heart warm.”