Willian and Ross Barkley scored the goals either side of half-time, while goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga also impressed on his return to the side. However, it was Gilmour in only his sixth senior appearance of his fledgeling career who stole the show.
“I have absolute trust in Billy. I remember when he first came on against Sheffield United [in August] and we drew the game, people questioned this kid, but I have no problem with him,” Lampard said after the final whistle, via ChelseaFC.com.
“If he’s small in stature he’s huge in personality, and he’s also huge in talent.”
Lampard explained that he has a number of criteria he uses to assess midfield players, asking whether they are comfortable receiving the ball in all positions and moments, making angles and picking the right pass, and putting a foot in to win the ball back.
The Chelsea boss said Gilmour can answer yes for each one.
“He does all the right things, and he’s humble,” Lampard continued. “All his family were here tonight, his nan and grandad were down from Scotland, and what a performance. It wasn’t just as a youngster coming into the team, that’s one level, he performed like a top-class player going up against top-class players. It was a great night for Billy.”
The result over a Liverpool side running away with the Premier League came at an important time for Chelsea. Lampard’s team have struggled for consistency in league fixtures and facing certain Champions League elimination at the hands of Bayern Munich later this month.
The Stamford Bridge legend revealed that a general squad meeting took place recently, during which he made it clear that hard work and belief are vital to return Chelsea to the level of old.
“I felt we needed a general meeting on where we want to get to, and the realisation of the work it will take to get us there. We are not Chelsea of eras gone by, with Hazards and Costas and Terrys and Drogbas. We are in a different place,” he said.
“It’s important to know unless we work hard every day in training, unless we behave well when we go home and think about how we can be better as a group, we can’t make that jump.”