Gilmour reveals how getting 'bullied' by Man Utd star helped him vs Liverpool
Billy Gilmour has revealed how getting ‘bullied’ by Manchester United defender Harry Maguire earlier this season was a major ‘learning curve’ in his development at Chelsea which helped him during the side’s 2-0 victory over Liverpool.
The 18-year-old midfielder produced an eye-catching display in Tuesday night’s FA Cup fifth-round tie at Stamford Bridge as goals from Willian and Ross Barkley either side of half-time sealed Chelsea’s place in the quarter-finals.
Kepa Arrizabalaga impressed on his return to the side, making an incredible triple save to Sadio Mane, Takumi Minamino and Divock Origi before the break, but Gilmour was deservedly named man of the match for his accomplished performance in the middle of the park.
Frank Lampard has shown tremendous faith in Gilmour, handing him six appearances since the start of the season, and the young Scot has explained how an on-field run-in with United captain Maguire stood him in good stead for Chelsea’s clash with Liverpool.
Reflecting on his tussles with Maguire in United’s Carabao Cup win back in October, Gilmour said: ‘He is going to try and bully young ones and that’s where I need to learn in the game – how to be stronger.
‘I’ve been working on that and I can only get stronger. But that was a learning curve, definitely, when he gripped me up in the box. I remember that really well.
‘Basically he was saying I’m a wee guy. He was pushing me off, gripping me by the throat, and that’s something I have to deal with.
‘But I won’t let that happen again, that’s for sure. That was a lesson.’
Lampard has stressed how Gilmour’s enormous character more than makes up for his ‘slight’ stature on the pitch.
‘What an incredible performance from a young player against the best team in the land,’ Lampard said.
‘People might look at him and see he’s quite slight but he’s huge in personality.
‘He’s a throwback to the days of midfielders as I grew up, when people said, “Can you put your foot in?”, Yes, “can you make angles always to get the ball?”, Yes, “can you play the right pass and pick the simple one at the right time?”, Yes, and he’s got all that.’
Later at his post-match press conference, Lampard added: ‘I have absolute trust in him.
‘If he is small in stature, he is huge in personality and talent.’
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