Frank Lampard was given the type of response he wished to see after Chelsea had gone two goals down in the opening half of our final pre-season game before 2019/20 starts in earnest – but the message from the boss was clear. We still need to improve before the big games begin.
In a test against the side which finished fifth in Germany last season, the Blues allowed Borussia Monchengladbach to score twice before our opponents conceded two second-half penalties, slotted by Tammy Abraham and Ross Barkley, to give us a 2-2 draw to add to the three victories that preceded it in the pre-season programme.
‘I think we should have won,’ declared Lampard after the game.
‘I was not happy with the first-half performance, we conceded two bad goals, one was our mistake, the other was a counter-attack, and we weren’t as we should be in the first half.
‘At half-time I asked for a reaction and the team gave a big reaction. We could have scored a lot more goals, their goalkeeper has been fantastic for them. I think we should have won but it was a very tough game, a good exercise for us against a very good team.’
Yann Sommer in the Gladbach goal impressed with a collection of good saves but what happened at that end of the pitch does not distract from some concerns at the other.
‘We can’t concede goals like we did today,’ Lampard emphasised.
‘That is obviously important for us to be where we want to be, so now we are preparing for next week. We have Manchester United next Sunday, we have a long week, the players deserve some rest as it has been a busy pre-season with travel and games but now we have a big week where we work, focus even more, do some more fitness work as a team and be ready.
‘We have a huge start to the season with Manchester United and then Liverpool in the Super Cup, so these games are good for us but we still need to improve.
‘It will be very difficult going to Old Trafford, with the atmosphere as it will be for the first game, a quality team, a competitor every year with ourselves for Champions League places and above, so it is even more important that we are prepared. We are a team that has worked very hard but we need to be absolutely focused because it is going to be a tough game.’