Frank Lampard put Chelsea’s 2-1 defeat to Manchester City down to the “finer details” and a moment of quality from Riyad Mahrez.
Chelsea took the lead through N’Golo Kante at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, but the Premier League champions fought back – Kevin de Bruyne’s deflected strike restoring parity before Mahrez slotted home at the culmination of a brilliant run.
Lampard’s side had more possession than City, despite living dangerously at the back at times, and he believes moments in both boxes are ultimately what settled the contest in Pep Guardiola’s favour.
“Coming into the game with our recent form and how we’re developing quickly, recently, I wanted to come here and compete, be brave on and off the ball and I think in the first half you saw all of that,” Lampard told a news conference.
“At 1-0 we had relative control of the game. It’s clear that never lasts if you have one moment, which they had a couple of moments, but we were playing well and there’s a lot of positives but we lost the game, so it shows at this level, the finer details in both boxes are what decide these ones.
“I don’t think you can come away from this game and say anything other than two really strong teams going against each other and one wins it because of a deflected goal and a real moment of quality from Mahrez and the rest is pretty much in the balance.”
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 23, 2019
Chelsea headed into the fixture on the back of six straight Premier League victories, though the Blues are yet to beat any of the established “big six” Premier League sides under Lampard.
They have lost twice to Manchester United – on the opening day of the season and in the EFL Cup – while also going down to Liverpool in the UEFA Super Cup and in the Premier League.
Lampard, though, insists all of the defeats have not been down to Chelsea’s style of play or the inexperience of his youthful side.
“Everyone seems fixated on these couple of games we’ve played,” Lampard said.
“We went toe-to-toe with Liverpool in Istanbul, lost on penalties. Lost at home in the league, pushing for 45 minutes and we’ve lost today with a very good performance.
“It’s moments in the boxes, it’s not something that you can put down to being a rule of going into a game why you’d win it or why you don’t.
“These teams, Liverpool and City, have been getting results for a long time because they work together, work hard and those finer details they get right.”
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