Frank Lampard received a horrendous welcome to life as a Chelsea manager after watching his team being dismantled by Manchester United 4-0 at Old Trafford. This ranks as one of the worst defeats for Chelsea in Premier League history while it is also one of the biggest wins for United on the opening day. Yet, there were several positives – especially in the first half – for Chelsea that the blues can build upon in the coming weeks.
Lampard opted for a youthful line-up with the likes of Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham. Surprisingly, he had left out the likes of N’Golo Kante and Olivier Giroud on the bench. The lack of experience was a major talking point, as United were able to take advantage of large spaces left at the back when Chelsea moved forward. All three goals in the second half came from counter-attacks from very poor defensive mistakes. It points out to a lot of trouble in the team.
It is not a surprise that Chelsea are conceding far too many goals. Lampard’s Derby were not in the last name for a strong defence in the Championship last season. The team conceded 54 goals in 46 games – the same as the likes of Nottingham Forest who finished ninth in the standings.
A major positive for Chelsea is their forward movement. The blues had Manchester United struggling in the first half and could have easily gone with the lead. Yet, the psychological blow of being behind 1-0 at half-time at Old Trafford seems to have impacted the players. Despite having more possession and making more chances, Chelsea were made to pay for the defensive errors.
The impact of the defeat will be understandable only in the forthcoming weeks.
Undoubtedly, the loss of Eden Hazard is a major blow for the team. This combined with the transfer ban has had a devastating impact on the team’s experience and quality. Yet, these are no excuses for the poor defensive mistakes that Chelsea committed against United – especially in the second half.
Even though Chelsea were moving the ball around and it looked pleasing on the eye, the confidence was shattered by the early goal from Marcus Rashford. After two quick goals in the second half, the blues certainly did not show signs of learning from the mistakes. Even though there was a need to chase the game, the team was simply too naive in the approach.
The blues legend experimented with a number of formations in pre-season before settling on the 4-2-3-1 role. The major absentee from the game was N’Golo Kante, who made an immediate difference after coming on. Even though Jorginho is a great passer of the game and he managed to retain his starting spot from the days of Maurizio Sarri, the former Napoli man is certainly not quick enough to withstand the pace of players like Rashford and Anthony Martial. Ultimately, team selection and the lack of experience were key in orchestrating Chelsea’s downfall.
Lampard and most of the Chelsea youngsters have to learn quickly or the season has the potential to turn disastrous straight away.