Frank Lampard was left “disappointed on every level” following Chelsea’s 2-1 defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion.
The Blues suffered their third successive loss under caretaker boss Lampard after the high-flying Seagulls came from behind to take the spoils at Stamford Bridge.
Danny Welbeck cancelled out Conor Gallagher’s deflected effort, before Julio Enciso’s 30-yard thunderbolt moved Brighton to within four points of fifth-placed Tottenham.
The hosts, who remain 11th, were very much second best as they registered just eight shots to their opponents’ 26, and Lampard did not hold back in the criticism of his players.
“I’m disappointed on every level,” he said. “The better team won. They could have won by more. They played like a team. They’ve been together a long time.
“[We were] not good enough. All the basic parts of football – to fight, to run – we were short on. [It’s] not a question of commitment as such.
“Some players physically couldn’t be able to play Wednesday, Saturday, Tuesday. Some of those changes were forced and some were opportunities. In a modern day squad, you have to be ready to come in.
“As a team, we were short today. Where can we get better quickly? For me, it’s the football basics.”
Those must come to fruition on Tuesday, when Chelsea host Real Madrid in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie.
The Blues must overturn a 2-0 deficit against the reigning champions if they are to progress to the semi-finals, and Lampard has urged his players to produce a response for the supporters.
“There’s no point being too down, but we have to understand why today went the way it did,” he continued.
“In football, a story can change very quickly. Real Madrid in the Champions League is the pinnacle of football. There’s things I’ll say to the players that I’ll keep in house.
“Chelsea fans will be coming on Tuesday to see a team give everything to turn it round, and that’s what we have to do.”
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