Chelsea manager Frank Lampard is eager to forget about his side’s 4-0 loss to Manchester United on the opening day of the season as he does not believe it was a fair scoreline.
In what was Lampard’s first competitive game, the Blues were defeated despite boasting more possession and shots on goal. They even hit the woodwork twice, but found themselves unable to deal with United’s clinical edge.
Lampard will have the chance to get some revenge on Monday when his side welcome United to Stamford Bridge. In the build-up to the game, he told the club’s official website that, despite coming out on the losing end, that first match gave him real confidence in his side.
“It was only a surprise probably having watched the performance, it wasn’t a 4-0 game,” he said. “I would be the first to criticise ourselves and I was honest with the players afterwards.
“I said ‘look, that’s not a 4-0, let’s not walk away from the small details that made it 4-0, but don’t take this as a big kick in the teeth, because it shouldn’t be on performance.’
“Then a few days later they went toe-to-toe with the best team in the country this season by a mile, Liverpool, and possibly should have won the Super Cup.
“I didn’t find the defeat to Manchester United was a real seminal moment. It didn’t feel nice on the day, it would be great to correct it tonight, but at the same time I didn’t take it as a huge hurtful thing. I could see in those two performances against Manchester United and Liverpool what the team could achieve this season.”
Monday’s game looks set to be a crucial one in the race for the top four. Chelsea sit fourth on 41 points, while United are ninth on 35, so defeat for either team would come as a huge blow.
Victory would see Chelsea move nine points ahead of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men, but Lampard added (via Sky Sports News) that United would still be well in the race for Champions League football.
“No [they would not be out of the race], not on nine points,” he said. “Not at this time with the amount of points to play for and the way the Premier League is, certainly not.”