FRANK Lampard warned Chelsea to learn a “big lesson” from the mistakes they made before Tammy Abraham’s last-gasp strike rescued a thrilling 3-3 draw against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.
Lampard’s expensively assembled side were torn apart in the first half at the Hawthorns, as Callum Robinson’s brace and Kyle Bartley’s goal left Chelsea 3-0 down.
Chelsea captain Thiago Silva was guilty of a woeful blunder on his Premier League debut when the former Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) defender gifted the ball to Robinson for his second goal.
But Mason Mount reduced the deficit soon after the break and Callum Hudson-Odoi got Chelsea’s second before Abraham equalised deep into stoppage-time. It was a much needed show of spirit from Chelsea after their defeat against Liverpool last weekend.
The prospect of a second successive loss had Lampard visibly fuming on the touchline in the first half, but Chelsea responded with a much improved display.
While Lampard will be relieved by evidence of Chelsea’s attacking potency, there must be questions about their shambolic defence and he admitted they need to improve significantly.
“You can’t legislate for the mistakes that were there. today. You can have as many meetings as you want but with those mistakes, you give yourself a mountain to climb,” Lampard said.
“The question was how much character would we come out with second half.
“I always felt we could do it, but it is still two points lost. We lacked a bit of urgency in the team. It is a big lesson for us.”
Despite dropping error-prone Kepa Arrizabalaga after the goalkeeper’s costly mistakes against Brighton and Liverpool this season, Lampard learnt that Chelsea’s problems run deeper than who is between the posts.
Lampard’s £200 million (about R4.3 billion) close-season spending spree was supposed to turn Chelsea into title challengers, but on this evidence they are still way behind champions Liverpool. “I’m not going to criticise every part of our game. There was nothing tactically you can analyse. There were just pure mistakes,” Lampard said. – AFP