A frustrated Frank Lampard told a familiar tale following tonight’s draw with Arsenal, lamenting his team’s inefficiency at one end and their concession of soft goals at the other.
We couldn’t press home our advantage and were punished when Arsenal equalised in bizarre circumstances on the hour. Cesar Azpilicueta put us back ahead late on, but again we were unable to hold onto our lead, as the Gunners scored with their second attempt of the game.
‘At the point in the game you go 2-1 up, you have got to do the basics right,’ said Lampard afterwards.
‘Get all the details right. We got one wrong, with the first one. And the second one was soft, soft for a right-back to cut inside and score into the bottom corner. You have to be real about it and honest about it that they had two shots, the breakaway in the first one and the second one late in the game, and they scored two goals.
‘We know the story here at home. Teams with 11 have defended here like that and we’ve had problems, then with 10 against Arsenal it is understandable, I think they defended their box well. I would say that it is the story of creating a lot, not unbelievable chances, but that can be the way. But at this level when balls are coming across the box, and crosses, whether it be headers, shots inside the box, we need to take them more because one goal always keeps a team in the game.
‘I don’t like too many stats on expected goals because it is not all that clear at times, but we are bottom of the league at home, and we’re creating second to probably Liverpool. That is two ends of the scale of where we’re at.’
Chelsea found it tough to control the game against 10 men
‘For 15 minutes of the first half it was because we were in the mindset of them with 11 and Ozil pulling out to the side and them giving you problems. We ended up being in a middle ground, so I was pleased for half-time to come so we could address that.
‘In the second half it was what it was. We had a lot of the ball, we were in their half a lot of the time. They had a few breakaways, that can happen. Being tentative when they had 10 was wrong, you have to go in and still be really positive to make sure they don’t get out.
‘They had a few moments and they fought for it. That is what they should do in a London derby. The initiative should be on us to be really ruthless about doing the right things, moving the ball quick enough, take chances when they come along. I think we moved it quick enough at times but didn’t take our chances when they came.’
Lampard considered what went wrong for Arsenal’s first equaliser, which stemmed from our corner
‘Unfortunately you can talk about them and work on them. On some of these things it’s not working. We set up to defend the edge of the box when we have a corner. If it is different on-pitch, then that’s not good enough. It’s not working, it’s something they have to do on the pitch.
‘It was on the edge of the box that was the problem. People have got to do their jobs. We have people on the edge of the box that ran forward when they should have run backwards. It left N'Golo, it went to N'Golo and he slips. That wasn't the error. That's something that can happen. The edge of the box was the error, as I say, a job that should have been done but not done. If they can’t do it then someone else will have to do it right.’
In the build-up to Arsenal’s second, we had chances to put the ball out but didn’t
‘Yes, the ball should go out. I think Tammy stood up for a while but the ball should go out when he is down. I am not angry at them [Arsenal] for carrying on. That's normal. They went down a few times when the player was in the box and it was in a critical area. With Tammy, it was out of play a bit so when we won it back we should have knocked it out.
‘I don’t know how Tammy is. He had a bang on his ankle, he has had ice on it. I haven’t spoken to him yet, so I can’t really update you on that.’
Lampard was asked if Kepa was too casual in possession at times
‘I know there's a focus on him at the minute. That's top-line football. Yes, with his feet, a couple of times today he took too long and he nearly gave it away. That can sometimes change the momentum of a game and he will know and have to look at, and we will have to look at. Yes, it is normal. Any player in a position, particularly goalkeepers, will be looked at, particularly the mettle you have got.
‘But he is not the only one. We are in fourth position which is seen as pretty good. I know and we all know that there should be another 10 points on the board at least on performance. We need to look at those final details.’