Lampard pleased with Chelsea response against Aston Villa

By Daniel Lewis 29 December 2020 491
Lampard pleased with Chelsea response against Aston Villa

Frank Lampard was pleased with Chelsea's response against Aston Villa and felt his side were unfortunate not to win the game.

Chelsea were made to settle for a 1-1 draw in Monday's clash after Anwar El Ghazi struck early in the second half to cancel out Olivier Giroud's opener.

The Blues had 64 per cent of the ball and had 16 shots to Villa's 10 but were unable to hold on for what would have been just a second win in five Premier League matches.

However, after accusing his players of being "lazy" in Saturday's 3-1 loss to Arsenal, Lampard was far happier with their display against in-form Villa.

"It was a draw against a good team," he said at his post-match news conference. "The performance was good. I thought we deserved to win the game but we didn't. 

"We've come through a difficult patch knowing we want to improve. Where it's left us is we saw a side today that showed the attitude of the team, the fight, without having the final bit in the final third. 

"We just have to do more of the same. We've had a funny patch but it remains close at the top of the league. Off a really good run we've had a difficult time and today I saw some really good signs out there.

"When things are going well it's pretty easy. We were on a long unbeaten run and playing well but not too many levels up from what we were playing today. 

"The focus was good. Some of the play between the lines, particularly down our left-hand side with [Ben] Chilwell, Christian [Pulisic] and Mason [Mount] - was really good. 

"When you're in a good run the ball goes in the back of the net more - Christian's chances, the chances at the end of the game. 

"If we keep playing with that attitude we'll get back to winning, which we've had a short period where we haven't been."

El Ghazi's far-post finish was allowed to stand despite complaints of a foul on Andreas Christensen from Jack Grealish in the build-up, plus a possible handball from Matt Targett.

Lampard, who made six changes to his starting line-up on the back of the Arsenal loss, questioned why the goal was allowed to stand 

"I think it was a handball," he said. "The fourth official was very close, the linesman was very close so I am not sure why it wasn't given. 

"It should have been handball. In terms of the Grealish and Christensen thing, I haven't seen it. I wasn't sure there was much in it at the time so I wasn't sure if it was a foul or not. 

"I was just concerned that the ball was going to come in our box with a man down, which it turned out to be but I haven't reviewed that."

Villa have now lost only one of their last nine away league games since going down 2-0 to Liverpool in July.

This latest point lifts them up to fifth in the table, six points behind leaders Liverpool with a game in hand to play, with fans dreaming of a place in Europe next season.

Boss Dean Smith is not getting carried away, though, saying: "We all know how difficult it is in the Premier League and when we got promoted we had to bring in 13 new players and for them to bed in takes time.

"Then, the following summer, you can be a bit choosy because we only had to bring in five players. But you have to be in this league three or four seasons to have the depth that some of the clubs have got."

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Daniel Lewis