Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has explained leaving Thiago Silva in London for victory at Newcastle United yesterday.

The 36-year-old played two full matches for Brazil earlier this week, helping his side keep clean sheets in wins over both Venezuela and Uruguay.

In addition, he only managed to arrive back on Thursday. Lampard said: “He travelled back from South America, it was a long journey and he arrived back on Thursday afternoon.

“I think it was a smart thing. We’ve got players, we’ve got a squad, Toni Rudiger comes in.

“We’ve got centre-backs and we want players to come in and keep the same levels.

“Thiago has set a fantastic standard, we’ve got the age situation we have to look after him here and there so he drops out.”

Before adding of his options: “It’s a difficult one when you have five centre backs so it’s not ideal.

“Some people would say they’d like to have five centre backs of that quality but you have to deal with it week to week to give them the game time and stuff. ‘

“There are probably two or three of them who don’t like them very much but we have to have standards and people pushing to get in the team.

“That depends on how you train, how you are and when you get your chance to take it those are the rules.”