Frank Lampard says his Chelsea side must go through a “quick learning process” after they suffered from familiar failings at home in a 2-0 Premier League loss to Southampton.
Four days on from their superb win at Tottenham, fourth-placed Chelsea again struggled at Stamford Bridge, following up recent defeats to West Ham and Bournemouth with another below-par display.
Although Lampard’s men had 66.5 per cent of possession, they lacked quality in the final third and were deservedly beaten by a Southampton side who defended superbly and scored two wonderful goals – through Michael Obafemi and Nathan Redmond – that typified their counter-attacking threat.
“We need to be better at breaking teams down, simple as that. We need to do more,” a dejected Lampard told Amazon Prime. “It’s a similar story – it felt the same as recent games. Credit Southampton for that, they were organised and they got their goals on the counter.”
Asked whether inconsistencies in form were to be expected with a number of young players, Lampard replied: “Maybe, that’s part of the process to a degree, but I think we’ve got enough to be better than we were today and better than what we’ve been at home really. It does have to be a quick learning process now for us.
“There’s a difference between going to Tottenham, in a game that opens up because they have a go at you, and being able to do things with the space that opens, but when there’s no space and when it’s closed that’s a different question and we’re not answering that.
“We control the game but we’re not clinical enough around the box.”
Chelsea have now lost back-to-back home matches for the first time since 2011 under Andre Villas-Boas, but a fourth win in six games continued a superb resurgence for Southampton, who are now up to 14th in the table two months on from a humiliating 9-0 home defeat to Leicester City in which they looked like a side destined for relegation.
IT’S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR! pic.twitter.com/7SD9SGWTTX
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) December 26, 2019
“I think we had by far the best performance this season, I think it was the best performance since I’m here,” Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl told Amazon Prime. “It was a really unbelievable performance from my team – I’m so proud.
“What happened after this 0-9 is a massive development of our performance. In the second international break we said ‘we have to find back the way we want to play: brave, active, on the front foot’.
“And I think this is something the team really showed from that moment. You need the results, we’ve got the results and now the belief is back in what we’re doing.”
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