A disappointed Frank Lampard urged his team to learn from a continual series of mistakes throughout the 2019/20 season and suggested the defeat to West Ham United shows there’s far more work to be done.
Chelsea had been one of the more impressive sides since the Premier League restart, even beating Manchester City last time out. But a series of defensive errors and misjudgements saw them lose 3-2 to the Hammers on Wednesday night, missing out on the chance to go third in the table.
Lampard pointed to an ongoing habit of his team’s in missing opportunities to progress and said it’s something he must find a way to rectify.
Sharing the full story, not just the headlines
“It’s the story of our season. It has been a good season but there have been so many of these moments,” he told Sky Sports after the game. “[A habit of slipping up has] been there and im aware of it but the players have to show the extra mentality and to do the bits to see games through when you have domination.”
“I get to see the group as closely as anybody. I’ve seen us have great games but I’ve seen us have [bad] moments where there have been opportunities to capitalise, to close the gap, to jump a team. That’s the difference and that shows how much work we’ve got to do.”
Chelsea took the lead through Willian’s penalty, before Tomas Soucek and Michail Antonio turned matters around either side of the break. Willian then equalised with a fine free-kick, but West Ham had the final word with a breakaway goal in the last minute, Antonio setting free Andriy Yarmolenko to score the winner.
Lampard bemoaned his side’s poor defending throughout the match, with the Hammers also having a goal ruled out for a marginal offside decision by VAR and ultimately scoring three goals from four shots on target.
“I’ve explained it the players; we have a good restart with three good results and an opportunity to go third, but you have to do every part of the game to get results in games like this. If there are moments where you switch off, if you go one up but make two or three errors and they score before half time then you encourage teams on.
“You feel like we’re dominating and going to win the game, but if we’re opening up to try and score then we have to be ready to run the other way and defend. And defend better.”
Three points took West Ham away from the relegation zone into 16th, while Chelsea remain fourth, two points ahead of Wolves and Manchester United.