Frank Lampard insisted Olivier Giroud is getting better with age after the veteran striker put Chelsea into the Champions League knock-out stage.
France World Cup winner Giroud, 34, scored a 91st minute winner but has also warned that he might have to quit in January to secure his place in the Euros next summer.
Chelsea boss Lampard said: “What people can feel from the outside and people can see is what a great professional he is, how highly regarded he is by his team mates and by myself.
“For him to get a goal, you could see the reaction from his team mates. He’s so professional in the way he trains and looks after himself that age isn’t even a factor for him.
“I actually think he’s getting better with age if anything because of how well he looks after himself. He offers a lot for us.
“I keep saying it but with the busy schedule coming up and the way we play, I will have to rely on players.
“Thankfully for me, he’s a player that always keeps the right attitude, even if he’s not playing regularly, I know I can always rely on him when I call on him like I did today.”
Lampard praised his players for the way they showed character and won the game despite Rennes pegging them back with an 85th minute equaliser.
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Lampard was delighted to reach the knock-out stage and says now they can focus on Sunday’s London derby with Tottenham which has become a top of the table clash.
“I’m very happy to qualify with two games to spare,” said Lampard.
“It was a really tough match, they’re a very good team. Their recent form doesn’t reflect how good they are, it was a tough hard-fought win.
“We have to prioritise the game in front of us but we’re aware of where we are in the league and that Sunday is a big game. It always will be because of the rivalry and they are a great team and now it’s just about preparing well.
“They’ll have a day off tomorrow and then come Thursday morning we’ll start thinking about Spurs properly.”