Chelsea: 3 lessons Lampard must take from Sheffield United loss

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Lampard, Chelsea

Frank Lampard- Chelsea (Photo by PETER POWELL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Saturday’s defeat raised lots of questions and gave Lampard some unwanted answers.

In what was no doubt a humiliating performance where manager Frank Lampard is concerned, Chelsea slumped to a 3-0 defeat to Sheffield United on Saturday, blowing the top-four race wide open.

The Blues came into the match in third place, but could now end the weekend outside the Champions League positions depending on how results go elsewhere. This performance has certainly left Lampard with a lot to think about.

What went wrong for Chelsea

In truth, what went right on the day would be a shorter answer. The only positive for Lampard was that Chelsea kept possession very well, with his side over 75% of the ball. Everything else, though, went wrong.

Of course, conceding three goals always raises questions about the defence, and in this case, they are absolutely right. The ease at which Sheffield tore right through Chelsea’s backline is alarming, but not surprising.

The unreliable defence has been the story of the season, complicating what could’ve otherwise been a very comfortable passage to Champions League football.

For the first two goals, the defenders were caught ball watching, particularly Kurt Zouma and Andreas Christensen.

When Christensen was subbed off at half-time, substitute Antonio Rudiger made sure to contribute with a mistake of his own, practically gifting David McGoldrick the third goal with an awful mistimed clearance/perfect assist.

The other main issue was chance creation, which has also been a fault of Chelsea’s this season. The wingers were not in the game, with Christian Pulisic, by his own standards, having his worst game since the Premier League restart.

He looked promising at times, but his teammates’ poor showing left him all alone before being substituted for Olivier Giroud around the hour mark. The same cannot be said for Willian, who was completely invisible going forward and switched off defensively as well.

With the wide players largely out of the game, the creative responsibilities fell on the attacking midfielders, Ross Barkley and Mason Mount.

Mount had a horrendous game, making some very bad decisions on the ball, like trying to take a man on in his own box and giving up possession for the first goal. He was subsequently taken off at halftime.

While Barkley was one of the team’s best performers stats-wise, it did not seem so on the pitch. He’d make an excellent turn and seemingly create a chance, but then take way too long to make a decision, and by the time he’d finally get rid of the ball, the chance would be lost.

The inability to create chances, as well as the inability to finish off the few they did create, cost Chelsea against Sheffield and the defence certainly did them no favours either with three sloppy, careless goals.

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