To get news directly on the go, download the Real Chelsea Fans App
Chelsea were comfortably 2-0 up at half-time against Sheffield United at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon.
The Blues were in cruise control of the game after Tammy Abraham had given Chelsea the lead with a first half brace. However, some loss of concentration in the second-half gave the Blades the opportunity to bounce back into the game.
Chelsea conceded the first goal immediately after the restart, and Kurt Zouma scored an own goal late in the game that made the game end all square, in what was a disappointing result for Frank Lampard’s side.
With the scores at 2-1, Lampard opted to withdraw Abraham and Kovacic after 84 minutes with Michy Batshuayi and debutant Billy Gilmour introduced in their places. But the move didn’t have the desired effect, and the Blues ended up drawing the game.
However, Lampard defended his decision after the game and explained his reason for the substitution.
When asked whether his decision to introduce Gilmour was bold, Lampard replied: “It wasn’t bold because it was one for one in both position.
“Kovacic was on his haunches, tired, Billy Gilmour is a midfield player I have on the bench and Batshuayi on to bring some energy for Tammy, who had been our best player, clearly, in the game.
“Other people can make what they want for that, but we were trying to see the game out.”
Lampard switched his back line for this game as he paired Zouma with Fikayo Tomori, but the Blues still conceded twice.
Chelsea have conceded nine goals in their first four league games – only Norwich City have let in more (10). However, Lampard chose to blame the team and not the backline for the goals cinceded.
Lampard said: “It’s not defence, it is conceding as a team. The lack of concentration and mistakes for the goals are moments, you defend as a team as much as attack as a team.
“We conceded because you switch off in a game that should be comfortably seen off at 2-0. That is no disrespect to Sheffield United, 2-0 is not the end of the story.
“I was clear with the players on that at half-time, this can either be 3-0 and nice, or a potential 2-2. Disappointing factor is the first goal more than anything, because it allowed it but we only have ourselves to look at as a group and not individually.”