Chelsea manager Frank Lampard described 18-year-old midfielder Billy Gilmour as a “throwback” after the young Scot’s superb display in the 2-0 FA Cup win over Liverpool on Tuesday.
Gilmour was handed only his third start in the fifth-round match, having also been selected for a couple of League Cup ties, and seized his chance with an assured performance in a high-tempo tie.
This season, Lampard has given youth a chance, with Mason Mount, a regular starter, also impressive against Liverpool.
However, the diminutive Gilmour caught the eye with his incisive passing, tackling and fearlessness on the ball.
Lampard could hardly contain a smile when asked about the player snapped up from the Rangers Youth Academy.
“What an incredible performance for a young player,” Lampard told the BBC. “He was a calm head in that first five or 10 minutes. He’s a throwback of a midfielder... He’s only slight in stature, but he’s huge in personality.”
Goals by Willian in the 13th minute — courtesy of a ghastly mistake by Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian, and Ross Barkley in the 64th minute — made it a great night for the eight-time Cup winners.
Juergen Klopp’s side are 22 points clear in the English Premier League and within touching distance of a first league title in 30 years.
They are also confident of overturning a 1-0 deficit against Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Champions League.
Yet, there are signs that Liverpool are misfiring, with eight goals conceded in four games and three consecutive away defeats for the first time since November 2014.
“Look, it went our way for so long because we defended outstandingly,” Klopp told reporters.
“Usually you don’t get a lot of chances against us and stuff like this, but now we have to admit that in the last three games — [maybe] four — we have conceded absolutely too many goals, that’s true,” he said. “I am not worried about the momentum — momentum is not something you get as a present, you have to get it to keep it. We have a chance to get it back.”
Klopp would hope for its return by Saturday against AFC Bournemouth.
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