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Dublin: 13 °C Saturday 21 September, 2019

Rafael Benitez not drawn on Lampard, Ba

The Chelsea manager was as guarded as ever in his post-match interview this afternoon.

Rafael Benitez, Chelsea's interim manager, gives instructions from the touchline during today's game.
Rafael Benitez, Chelsea's interim manager, gives instructions from the touchline during today's game.

RAFAEL BENITEZ WAS tight-lipped on a potential move for Demba Ba and the future of Frank Lampard after Chelsea’s 2-1 win at Everton.

Lampard, 34, is out of contract at the end of the season and expected to leave Chelsea after being given no indication of a new deal materialising.

The stalwart midfielder made a strong case for that decision to be reconsidered on Sunday, netting twice as Chelsea came from behind to beat Everton at Goodison Park.

“I am really pleased with the team, credit to Frank for the goals,” Chelsea interim manager Benitez was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.

“Frank is under contract, doing well, fully committed. My job is to keep him fit.”

Lampard himself was giving little away when quizzed on his future after the English Premier League clash on Merseyside.

“I will keep trying to give my best as I’ve always done when here and will continue to do so,” he said.

“I just hope to keep playing in a winning team.”

Another player with his future up in the air is Newcastle United striker Demba Ba.

The in-form Senegal international is believed to have a seven million-pound buyout clause included in his contract, which Chelsea are reportedly set to trigger in the January transfer window.

When asked if he was prepared to discuss a possible swoop for Ba, Benitez said: “No, because we don’t talk about this business, we had a very important game today.”

Everton manager David Moyes was proud of his players’ efforts and felt they were unfortunate not to earn a draw.

“We’re not disappointed with the way we’ve played because we played really well and we’ve run the European champions really close. But we didn’t quite have enough in the end,” Moyes said.

“We had played well enough to get a second goal but had been unfortunate, having shots back off the woodwork. I thought we were a bit unlucky.”

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