Lampard finds crumbs of comfort despite Chelsea’s European exit


Frank Lampard

Chelsea’s interim manager Frank Lampard found crumbs of comfort from his side’s performance despite a crushing Champions League quarter-final exit against Real Madrid on Tuesday.

Faced with overturning a 2-0 defeat in the Bernabeu last week, Chelsea suffered a similar fate as Rodrygo’s second-half double eased the 14-times European champions into the semis.

It is now four defeats from four games for Lampard since returning in the wake of Graham Potter’s sacking and his side are marooned in 11th place in the Premier League.

Yet for nearly an hour on Tuesday they matched the reigning champions and had they possessed a functioning attack might have given themselves a chance at redemption.

Chelsea have managed only one goal in their last six games despite spending around 600 million pounds (746 million dollars) on new players in the two transfer windows.

This was since American Todd Boehly’s consortium bought the club previously bankrolled by Roman Abramovich.

“I think for 60 minutes the only thing missing was a goal,” Lampard told reporters.

“One goal or two goals changes the face of the game and at this level when you’re not clinical you see what happens. The end bit of scoring is crucial and something we need to address.”

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Club record scorer Lampard now has the dubious honour of being the first Chelsea manager to lose his first four games in charge.

He must now try to restore some hope among the fans in the seven league games his side have left.

There will almost certainly be no European football for Chelsea next season and Lampard says the club has no divine right to think that it will be only a one-season absence.

But he says the rebuilding job must start in the time he remains at the helm.

“We have to take each step. Day off tomorrow, back into work Thursday and working towards Brentford,” he said.

“This club is going to be back. I think the fans appreciated the performance today and we have to latch onto that and go again next year.

“Manchester United have spent time out (of the Champions League), Arsenal have spent time out. It’s impossible to try and predict it.

“We can set the building blocks now of where we want to get to.” (Reuters/NAN)

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