Frank Lampard was proud of the way his players performed against Liverpool today, but the boss also recognised the need to start translating good displays into crucial league points.
The narrow 1-2 reverse to the leaders means that after six league games this season we have won two, lost two and drawn two. This defeat, our first at the Bridge in the league since December, was not without its plus points, and on another day the Blues would have gained at least a point after roaring back after the break, helped by a stunning N’Golo Kante goal.
Lampard felt in terms of performance we were the better side, particularly in the second half
‘It’s hard to accept congratulations after a loss, but we must say the way we played in the second half is towards where we want to be: energy, passion, moving the ball quickly, changing the play, getting crosses in the box. They are things we work on and we did it against Liverpool.
‘Within that you have to say details lose you games. That Firmino goal lost us the game because you can’t have free headers in our six-yard box.’
Lampard revealed his half-time message to the players
‘I really felt we were in the game. There were moments in the first half: the VAR moment clearly, those are the rules now but it is deflating for the team and the stadium; Tammy’s chance is the best chance of the half; and the free-kick was fantastic from them.
‘It was about what spirit and mentality can we show in the second half. It’s not easy to be 2-0 down at half-time. You can take it on the chin and say ‘this team’s too good, we can’t turn this around’, but we did the opposite which I’m proud of. But we need points too.
‘I don’t mind losing. We lost the Super Cup when we could have potentially won the game. What I won’t take is the second-half performance against Sheffield United at home.
‘I will take today but it now needs to translate to points. That performance today, week in week out, is going to amass points. We need to do that and keep improving.’
Lampard analysed the team’s defending after two more goals were conceded
‘We need to work and look at it in training. Set-pieces are a different animal to other types of goals. I will always look at the team in every element of goals. There are times when we haven’t defended well as a team and conceded, and times when it’s a set-piece where it’s something we work on all week and then switch off in a game.
‘It’s very hard to replicate the exact moments of a game but you have to work towards it every day in training. We are. A clean sheet will come for us, and it’s obviously important because we can’t outscore everybody every week.’
Lampard commented on the performance of N’Golo Kante, who scored superbly, and picked out two other players for praise
‘We end up being not surprised with Kante, which is not fair on him really. He did it in the Super Cup without training, he did it today with probably not match-fit training, but he’s so important for us you put him in the team and he showed his qualities.
‘I have to single out Tomori. For a young player like him to go up against Mo Salah, who is lethal, and deal with him for pace and in the mind, I thought was class. Everything he did was. Those are the signs I’m looking for individually.
‘And Alonso. He came on and did really well. It’s not easy coming on in a big game like that.’
Emerson and Andreas Christensen went off injured in the first half
‘Emerson is a similar injury to what he had, with a muscle. When you do that it means you’ve come back too soon. That’s not a slight on Emerson, everyone wants to play this game, fair play. Those things shouldn’t happen.
‘Christensen is a bang on the knee which we will assess. The first thought is it’s not that bad.
‘It was a shame to use up subs in the first half but the two who came on, Alonso and Zouma, both did very well. They added to us in a way.’
Christian Pulisic remained an unused sub for the third game running
‘He has played a few games. Willian has come back in and been sharp and looked good. I decided to go with Mason today because we needed to stay strong in midfield and play Mason higher up the pitch. Those are my choices to make. He will get ample opportunities as well.
‘There’s him on the bench, Pedro, Ross Barkley, Batshuayi who deserves more minutes for the way he’s training at the moment, and those are unfortunate choices I need to make.’