Neal Maupay’s first goal since February saw the summer signing from Everton end the club’s start to the season with a 1-0 victory over fellow countrymen West Ham.
The Frenchman, who has scored in all three of his Premier League starts against the Hammers, netted with a well conceded goal that was a rare highlight in a match between two teams who had a rocky start.
His goal shed light on the continued absence of Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who has not played this season due to a knee injury on the eve of the campaign, after Lampard erred on the side of caution in giving him until after the international break to regain full fitness.
Initially it was at the expense of any threat of attack with relatively anonymous Maupay, Demarai Gray out of his game and even Anthony Gordon, their only shining spark so far, struggling to make his mark.
In fact, only Idrissa Gana Gueye, in his first start since returning to the club from Paris St Germain this summer, provided any real class with his reading of the game in a poor first half.
But when your defensive midfielder, a week short of his 33rd birthday, is the best player in a team that has scored just four league goals against opponents who have managed three, it highlights the problems that Lampard has in the future.
West Ham, who started the game one place below their hosts in 18th, were little better even after back-to-back Europa Conference League wins as they had the only two shots on target from six in the first half.
Jarrod Bowen’s early cross was somehow deflected around the near post by Conor Coady, who captained the side in the absence of injured Jordan Pickford as the former Wolves centre-back continues to add sentiment of control and calm to what was a chaotic last defense. season.
Even a booking for taking down Michail Antonio at the halfway line didn’t shake the England international as he finished the remaining hour with little concern.
Neither team looked capable of scoring until Maupay struck in the 53rd minute with a goal out of nowhere.
Alex Iwobi fired a pass through the tightest gaps between Declan Rice and Kurt Zouma and the former Brighton striker’s first touch kicked the ball in for a low volley past Lukasz Fabianski.
Former Everton boss David Moyes immediately dispatched Maxwel Cornet and Said Benrahma and from there it was a test of the Toffees’ resilience, which had been a major weakness in their relegation battle last season .
Tomas Soucek headed in goal, but Coady and newcomer James Tarkowski are made for such situations, not only for their defensive abilities but also for their leadership qualities.
However, even they needed the help of a post to prevent Benrahma’s curling shot which left Pickford’s assistant, Asmir Begovic, rooted to the spot.
But the goalkeeper was more active to save Cornet late, the Hammers striker also fired wide as the visitors pressed but failed to equalise.