Frank Lampard is still looking for his first win as Chelsea manager but after 120 minutes of very good effort against the Champions of Europe, he’s confident that his players have what it takes to win games and win games regularly.
In fact, he’s targeting three wins from the next three games, which will take us into the first international break of the season at the start of September.
I’m the worst loser in the world, I hate it. It’s not nice watching Liverpool lift the trophy. We respect them; they’re the winners.
But I’ve got nothing but pride in the team for the performance tonight, and confidence in what that means. The way they played, the spirit, the desire, the quality, the effort, given everything... Sometimes football is little moments of luck. We had so many chances; we played so well. Completely proud!
After [Manchester United], tonight was another level, and we were unlucky not to win. We’ve got three games now till the international break. I expect us to play like today, and we’ll try to win them all.”
Chelsea hit the post (again, for the third time in two games) and had two goals ruled out for offside (probably correctly though replays were scarce), while Kepa had two powerful penalties squirm by his right arm in the shootout. But this time the small margins didn’t snowball into a one-sided scoreline and Chelsea were every bit Liverpool’s equal in the balance of play.
Considering that Liverpool are the finished product, and Chelsea are not —they didn’t add anyone new by choice this summer, though new backup goalkeeper Adrián certainly shined today (and was allowed to leave his line on the save from Abraham) — we can certainly draw plenty of confidence from the 2-2 draw over 120 minutes.
The mix of old and new — the starting lineup was different in only two spots from last year’s Europa League final (Zouma for David Luiz; Pulisic for Eden Hazard) — paid off handsomely today for Lampard, and we’re only going to improve from these first two games.
Really pleased [with the young players]. Let’s not forget Pulisic is 20. He goes on and gets an assist, and will get better [once] he gets used to the pace of a team like Liverpool and how they play. Mason and Tammy gave us another dimension when they came on — energy, legs, quality. Mason was so unlucky not to score, same with Tammy. And Tammy needs to keep his head up because that’s part and parcel of being a top player, and that’s what Tammy wants to be. You stand up, you want to take the fifth penalty, and you might miss it.
But I don’t want to focus just on youth. We’re obsessed with youth at the minute! Let’s talk about Jorginho. Let’s talk about Kante, who’s hardly trained. Let’s talk about Kurt Zouma. Talk about Andreas. I’ll go through them! Pedro, incredible. I’m really proud. I know we lost, but there’s confidence for the season for me in that.
We’ve got a quality bunch in there [...] a really good group, and we’re working hard. I’m trying to instill the way I want to play and there were so many good things tonight. Maybe we can switch the ball a bit more at times! [But] loads of things I’m really happy with.
-Frank Lampard; source: BT Sport
Next up, after we recover from these 120 minutes of late night hot weather football, is Leicester City at the Bridge for the home opener, followed by Norwich City (away) and Sheffield United (home) on the final day of August. Three winnable games. Play like we did today, and nine points should be ours.