Frank Lampard hailed Mason Mount for his eye-catching home debut for the club, which was capped with a goal.
The 20-year-old midfielder was a key player for the Chelsea boss when on loan at Derby County last season, and it was fitting that he should find the net on an emotional return to Stamford Bridge for Lampard.
Mount showed determination to close down Leicester City's Wilfred Ndidi and pinch the ball off his opponent before tucking past Kaspar Schmeichel.
In the end it only gave the Blues a point in a 1-1 draw but it was a great moment for the player and his admiring head coach.
“The epitome of his talent is the goal,” said Lampard, who was so proud to lead the club he served so imperiously as a player.
“Great off the ball, energy to close people down, then the quality to finish it. In those opening periods. He could have scored two more goals, almost, and he will get better and better.
“That’s the first of some big moments for Mason, so I’m delighted for him. I know he’ll be slightly disappointed it wasn’t actually part of a win.”
Lampard himself said his much-anticipated homecoming has ‘felt great.’
“Obviously it was a special moment for me, to come back to the club and to manage at Stamford Bridge and of course it’s the stuff of dreams and it’s something for me that is a huge thing,” he said.
“But my focus today was on the game and on trying to win the match. I appreciate and thank very much the fans, they were great with that, but I’m here to do a job. I’m here to win games for the club and we can do better than we did today.”
Lampard admitted the midweek jaunt to Istanbul to contest the Super Cup against Liverpool had taken its toll as the Blues faded after a lightning start.
“I hate the tiredness excuse but it has to be a factor in the second half,” said the Chelsea boss.
“I saw Liverpool play yesterday and know it would have been tough for them too. We were all in it together for 120 minutes, emotions, flying back the next day, up til five in the morning, so I think it might have affected us later in the game.
“That first patch of 25 minutes was how we want to play. The rest of the game wasn’t quite how we want to play. Credit Leicester for that. They put us under pressure and we weren’t good enough in possession probably after the first 25 minutes.
“In the second half we left far too much space for them. That was the disappointing thing for me that we couldn’t sustain the early part of the game.
“I don’t expect that 100 mph energy for 90 minutes but I do expect that when you rest, you keep possession of the ball better.”