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Lampard hails Oscar after departure of 'fantastic' Mata

Goal.com

Frank Lampard believes the quality of Oscar and Chelsea's other attacking options made it difficult for Juan Mata to stay at Stamford Bridge.

Oscar scored the only goal of the game with a stunning strike as Chelsea beat Stoke to book an FA Cup fifth round tie with Manchester City on Sunday.

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Lampard, who lauded Mata's ability, indicated the Brazilian's contribution this season gave Jose Mourinho little choice but to leave out the Spain international, before selling him to Manchester United for 37.1 million pounds earlier this week.

"Juan Mata is an absolutely fantastic player, and more than that he is an absolutely great lad," Lampard told ITV. "[I] wish him all the best personally. The difficult thing here is that there are so many quality players, and Oscar has been fantastic this year, as has [Eden] Hazard.

"Willian's shown that, and we've got so many riches in that position that it's difficult, but you need performances like that from Oscar [Sunday]. That free kick was absolutely top drawer."

Lampard is anticipating a strong finish to the season, now that the squad has bought into the philosophy of returning boss Mourinho.

"There's a good feel around the place, [with] the manager coming back [it] took a little bit of time for him to get his points across, I think," he said. "In the last couple of months we've been finding that little bit of mentality - that feeling in the dressing room - and we're going out there with more confidence.

"We have to keep that up - the minute you drop that, the results will turn - so we have to make sure we keep at it and carry on this form."

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