The 18-year-old was the standout player at Stamford Bridge as he put in a performance beyond his years to help Frank Lampard‘s side romp to a brilliant 2-0 win over Jurgen Klopp’s men.
Gilmour, who was only promoted to Chelsea’s senior side last month, earned man of the match for dominating in the middle of the park – a feat that impressed the likes of Alan Shearer, Ian Wright and Glen Johnson in the BBC studio.
Billy Gilmour earned rave reviews for his man of the match performance against Liverpool
Shearer told Gary Lineker on Match of the Day Live: ‘The star of the show is the midfielder – the young Billy Gilmour. He has bossed it.
‘Whatever he’s been asked to do, whether that’s collecting the ball and passing it forward, protecting that back four or spraying the ball around; he’s been absolutely magnificent.
‘A lot of the time I’ve seen Chelsea this season, yes they have good possession in Jorginho in the way he passes it, but he hasn’t done what this young boy has done in terms of getting the ball and passing it forward – that’s been his first thought.
‘Not only that but he’s protected that back four magnificently. Everything he has done has been spot on. The tackling, the timing of the tackles. Setting Chelsea forward… the confidence – he’s 18 years of age! To have that confidence, that belief in your ability.’
Alan Shearer was thoroughly impressed with the Scottish midfielder at the half-time interval
Shearer (left), Glen Johnson (centre) and Ian Wright (right) heaped praise on the 18-year-old
Gilmour (right) celebrates with Ross Barkley, who scored Chelsea’s second goal on Tuesday
Wright added: ‘He’s very impressive. What’s good about him that in his interview Frank said, “listen, he’s in there because he deserves to be in there the way he’s trained”.
‘He was someone that was tracked by [Manchester] City, [Manchester] United, Barcelona and Real Madrid. And you watch him, I’m not going to go over the top on it, but you can see (why) for an 18-year-old the way that’s he’s been playing. Unbelievable the way he’s played.’
Lineker also showed a lot of enthusiasm for the young Scot, hailing what a young talent he is: ‘It’s exciting to see young players with that kind of talent. The awareness of where they are on the field. It’s exciting!’
The teenage sensation was everywhere on the pitch and didn’t put a foot wrong
He put in a performance beyond his years to help Chelsea romp to a brilliant 2-0 win
Former Chelsea and Liverpool full back Johnson also pointed out how much of an impact Gilmour has had on his Blues team-mates.
‘The difference for me is that all of those players on the pitch there know him a hell of a lot better than we all do,’ Johnson insisted.
‘You can see they’ve been passing him balls in positions where they’re half-risky and you can tell they believe in him and they believe in his ability and that he can cope with it mentally. He’s showed it every time he’s received the ball.’
Jermaine Jenas, who was on commentary, agreed with the praise.
‘He looks like he’s playing down the park with his mates,’ Jenas said.
When asked about the 18-year-old’s performance after the game, Lampard was blown away but wasn’t surprised given how he trains week in and week out.
When asked about Gilmour’s performance, Lampard said: ‘Well, I mean, what an incredible performance for a young player against the best team. When things are happening quickly around you and he was a calm head in that first five, 10 minutes.
Frank Lampard was delighted with Gilmour and insists he ‘deserves’ the plaudits
‘Straight away, you could see he had quality on the ball and wants to get the ball.
‘He’s a throwback to the days of midfielders when I grew up. And people will say can you put your foot in? Yes. Can you make angles to always 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.
‘People might look at him and see that he’s quite slight in his way but he’s huge in personality. Huge. So I’m absolutely delighted for him. He deserves everything. He deserves man of the match, he deserves people talking about him. I’m delighted for him and his family because it’s a big day for them.’
While it was good news that Gilmour shone on a great night for the Blues, the loss of Jorginho to suspension and Mateo Kovacic to injury was a blow for Lampard.
However, the suggestion that Gilmour could get more game-time as a result was not dismissed by the Chelsea boss.
The Chelsea manager insisted Gilmour could get more game-time after Tuesday night’s win
‘I mean when you bring players in and when they’re young you never know until they come in and play,’ Lampard added.
‘Billy’s played a couple of games but when you put him in against opponents like today, and the confidence that he’s showed, bravery on the ball was brilliant.
‘And now we got a problem – Jorginho’s suspended for two games, Kovacic got injured but whatever, I played him tonight Billy because of what I said before the game of how he plays and how he trains.
‘We’ll see. It was a lot of work for him to do but what a great start that is.’
The win puts Chelsea into the quarter-finals of the competition.