While delighted to see his side come from three goals down to deservedly draw with West Bromwich Albion on Saturday evening, Frank Lampard has reiterated that Chelsea still need to sharpen up when defending set-pieces if we are to achieve our goals this season.
The Blues battled back from 3-0 down at half-time to claim a share of the spoils against the Baggies, thanks to second-half strikes from three Academy graduates in Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Tammy Abraham.
Callum Robinson had fired the hosts into a 2-0 lead before Kyle Bartley headed home for West Brom from a corner, with that goal in particular frustrating our head coach.
‘When I spoke about mistakes before, I was relating to the set-piece goal because that’s not something that is difficult [to defend],’ explained Lampard.
‘Sometimes when you analyse goals from open play, there are many different factors such as what happens in certain areas higher up the pitch. But at a set-piece, when you are asked to mark a man then you have to mark a man, simple as that. If you let a man roll off the back of you to a score a goal, that’s a clear mistake.’
The second Robinson goal came from an uncharacteristic error from Thiago Silva on his Premier League debut, although Lampard was quick to speak about the qualities that the defender showed in his performance at The Hawthorns and why he selected the Brazilian as Chelsea captain despite his limited English.
‘Thiago will be a very, very good player for us,’ added Frank.
‘He doesn’t speak the language very well but that’s just something we will have to work through. It is what it is but I’m not sure how relevant that is to the [West Brom] game.
‘There are players here that can speak the languages that he can, with French being the main one. But we also have lads here that can speak Portuguese and Italian, which Thiago can, and they can interact with him.
‘If the language is a slight barrier then we will need time to work on that, and that is what we have in front of us. Despite the language issues though, he still shows the leadership skills that he has.
‘People will want to talk about his mistake [for the West Brom goal] and that’s fair, it comes with the nature of being the top footballer that he has throughout his career. But at the same time, other than that one moment, we saw just how good he is. We saw his leadership skills, his quality and I think we are going to see more of that as the season progresses.’