A disappointing 2-2 home result wherein Chelsea went up by two goals at half and then conceded two goals in the second one. Certainly not the most convincing day at the office for the Blues.
There were moments of promise where the attack seemed to click. However, there were also far too many moments where Chelsea’s inability to threaten Sheffield United convincingly or defend collectively as an unit came back to haunt them.
2 - Tammy Abraham is the first Englishman to score at least two goals in consecutive Premier League appearances for Chelsea since Frank Lampard in January 2010. Impression. pic.twitter.com/jUAcOvYNkW— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 31, 2019
After today’s result, many will continue to question the Chelsea youth revolution. However, Lampard reiterates that he is picking his team based on merit.
Former academy standout, Tammy Abraham, continued his hot form with another brace. Fikayo Tomori, who featured heavily for Lampard last year at Derby County, surprised many by earning his first start for the Chelsea senior team and putting forth a calm defensive presence. Mason Mount also started on the left of the attack as he had done so in last week’s fixture against Norwich.
“. . . I couldn’t care less that we have the youngest team. I don’t think it relates.
“[Tomori] deserved to play, I thought Tomori had a good game.
“I am trying to find right combinations all over the pitch. It’s not just the defence, I trust the centre-backs that we have.”
Many will look to Lampard’s game management today seeking answers to the how and the why of Chelsea’s collapse from their solid 2-0 position. Today’s post-game presser questioned young Billy Gilmour’s debut and substitution for Mateo Kovačić.
“[The substitution] wasn’t bold. It was one for one, Kovacic was on his haunches.
“Other people can say what they want about it. I have faith in Billy and that he has a future at Chelsea.
“[Danny] Drinkwater was here for two years and hadn’t played many games, [Tiémoué] Bakayoko here for one season and then back out on loan. That’s it, really.”
It will be unfair to correlate Gilmour’s appearance with the culmination of Chelsea’s two goal collapse. The truth lies a bit deeper than a debut for a promising 18-year-old academy kid.
“It’s not defence, it’s conceding as a team. Lack of concentration, you defend as a team as much as attack.
“It was comfortably 2-0, no disrespect to Sheffield United. We only have ourselves to look at as a group.”
-Frank Lampard; Source: Football.London
Lampard is a young manager who is only of his second year of senior level management. Game management will be something both he and this young Chelsea squad will learn as they continue to grow together.
He has said before that he’s been heavily influenced by Jose Mourinho, the manager with whom Lampard grew and succeeded with as a player. Games against a physical side like Sheffield United may warrant a different game management than that which Lampard went with this afternoon.
Sometimes you need to grind out these sort of games to the end to secure maximum points. Whether that necessitates more tactical defensive-minded substitutions or not will be on Lampard to sort out as he grows into this role.
The season is young... much like this team. As they say, onward and upward to a two-week FIFA-mandated international break!