rank Lampard was not in the mood for excuses after watching hiss, which is quickly eating away at what had been a healthy top-four cushion.
Lampard could easily have joined the group of managers who have pointed at the Video Assistant Referee following defeats. He could have questioned the atmosphere inside Stamford Bridge that often seems flat on a Saturday afternoon. He might also have blamed physical and mental fatigue his young players might be suffering.
But Lampard was having none of it. He sympathised with the supporters who had been waiting for a moment of magic that never came and he told his players that they need to show some “balls” when teams like West Ham United, Everton and now Bournemouth set up to make life difficult for them.
All three clubs had been struggling for form and confidence before facing Chelsea and yet all three beat Lampard’s team. and an injury list that grew to 10 players, when Joshua King was forced off.
King had three times threatened to go through on Chelsea’s goal before being replaced, but Dan Gosling managed to find an unlikely late winner for the visitors that was awarded by VAR following a lengthy check.
here was no booing at the final whistle, just as there had been very little in the way of energy from the stands at the start, but Lampard said: “I don’t blame the fans. I’m a Chelsea man and I will be the first one to say the fans were flat today and we needed them. But today I’m never going to say that because if I’m a fan sitting there today, I’d also say ‘pfft, too slow. Centre back to centre back, full back with the manner of victory over Norwich City on the weekend.The Blades are back at Bramall Lane this weekend for the visit of Aston Villa, who joined United and Norwich in the Premier League this term after winning last season’s Championship play-ofto full back, back to centre back, back to full back and I don’t want to come and see that’.
“So I won’t blame the fans, they come here to support the team, they will come to Tottenham next week, they will go to Southampton on Boxing Day ahampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl.Before defeat to Everton on Saturday, the fullback declared he would be leaving at the end of the season when his contract expires.Speaking on BBC 5 Live Sport, Sutton said: “You’ve got to question some of the playend some responsibility is on the players to excite them, to have the personality and the balls to take the ball in an area and beat someone or play forwards. That’s up to the players as well, it’s a joint thing.”
t must be a worry for Lampard that Chelsea have not. And the Blues have not led at home in the Premier League since the draw with Sheffield United at the end of August.
Lampard said: “I don’t know about fear, but in front of our own fans it’s clear now we aren’t playing well enough and getting enough results. Today wasn’t a ‘we’re creating loads of chances day’, we created two or three great chances and we need to take them if we want to improve.
“But today we just didn’t get the fans excited enough. The fans shouldn’t be excited if we’re going to play 10 balls across our back four. They shouldn’t be. I think that’s not the team I want to manage.”
ournemouth goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale had to make a brilliant point-blank save from Emerson Palmieri, but, other than that, he enjoyed a relatively quiet afternoon.
Abraham twice missed the target, sweeping a Cesar Azpilicueta cross wide and heading over the crossbar, but he was often isolated as Wilian, Christian Pulisic and substitute Callum Hudson-Odoi failed to make an impact.
Other than struggling in attack, Chelsea are panicky at the back as proven by the fact they have kept one clean sheet in their last 12 games. On Saturday, the defence were caught out by a Jefferson Lerma header over the top.
Chelsea defenders, plus the assisponed their upcoming Under-23s game against Swansea City.The Red Devils’ youngsters were set to play against the Swans in Premier League 2 on Friday.But the game is now postponed for a later date.The issue is due to the visitors Swansea having an illtant referee on the far side who raised his flag, thought Gosling was offside but the midfielder brilliantly hooked the ball back over himself and Kepa Arrizabalaga to find the net. Following a long VAR check, the goal was given to the delight of Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe.
“We needed it,” said Howe. “Certainly for a while, today has been the best we have fought, the best we’ve competed, the most desire I have seen from the group. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel there has been a lack of effort, but when things have gone against us, there has been a feeling of everything is conspiring to try to break us. Today we never had those moments and were able to build the other way.”
ottenham can now cut the gap between themselves and Chelsea to just three points, ahead of next week’s clash between the two clubs, by beating Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday. But, of course, Jose Mourinho is already well aware of that.