Chelsea Outclass Newcastle To Temporarily Go Top Of EPL Table


Lindsey Parnaby / POOL / AFP

 

Chelsea made clear their intentions with a masterclass display 2-0 win against Newcastle on early Saturday afternoon at Saint James’ Park.

Frank Lampard’s men were without talismanic defender Thiago Silva who was deputized by the German Rudiger; also missing from the Chelsea ranks was Kai Havertz who was still in quarantine after testing positive for the COVID-19 virus.

Newcastle were also missing their leading goal scorer Callum Wilson, who suffered a hamstring injury against Southampton in the 2-0 defeat before the international break

An own goal from Newcastle’s centre back Federico Fernandez and a second-half finish from Tammy Abraham gave the visitors a comfortable win against opponents who barely threatened.

The duo of Werner and Abraham was making a nuisance of the Newcastle backline with waves of attack and the Magpies woes were further compounded by the replacement of their captain Jamaal Lascelles who took a blow late in the first half.

Chelsea finally put any hopes of a Newcastle come back to bed with a moment of magic from the German Werner who made light work of the Newcastle defence to lay an assist for Tammy Abraham.

The men in blue kept probing but were denied a third goal after Werner was deemed offside by the VAR. Two goals in favour of Lampard’s men was how it ended with Chelsea going top of the EPL log temporarily with Leicester and Tottenham yet to play.

 

Premier League: Chelsea Trounce Sheffield To Go Third

Chelsea's German striker Timo Werner (R) celebrates scoring his team's fourth goal with Chelsea's English striker Tammy Abraham (L) during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Sheffield United at Stamford Bridge in London on November 7, 2020. Chelsea won the game 4-1. Mike Hewitt / POOL / AFP
Chelsea’s German striker Timo Werner (R) celebrates scoring his team’s fourth goal with Chelsea’s English striker Tammy Abraham (L) during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Sheffield United at Stamford Bridge in London on November 7, 2020. Mike Hewitt / POOL / AFP

 

Frank Lampard’s Chelsea came back from a goal down to comfortably beat Sheffield United 4-1 on Saturday at Stamford Bridge.

Goals from Tammy Abraham, Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva, and Timo Werner were enough to cancel out David McGoldrick’s ninth-minute opener for Sheffield United.

Chelsea are beginning to pick up the pace after their expensive summer rebuild and are now just one point behind Southampton and Liverpool, who play Manchester City on Sunday.

Lampard’s side, now unbeaten in six Premier League matches, went behind early at Stamford Bridge when McGoldrick’s neat flick put Sheffield United in front.

But they hit back quickly, with England forward Abraham slotting home from Matteo Kovacic’s cutback and Chilwell put Chelsea into a 2-1 lead just past the half-hour.

Brazilian veteran Silva bagged his first Chelsea goal to put the Blues 3-1 up before Werner blasted past Aaron Ramsdale to put the home side in total control.

Chelsea’s Havertz Tests Positive For Coronavirus

File photo: Chelsea’s German midfielder Kai Havertz (L) celebrates after scoring his team’s fifth goal during the English League Cup third round football match between Chelsea and Barnsley at Stamford Bridge in London on September 23, 2020. (Photo by NEIL HALL / POOL / AFP)

 

Chelsea forward Kai Havertz has gone into self-isolation after testing positive for the coronavirus.

Havertz’s Covid-19 test was revealed after the German was missing from Chelsea’s squad for their Champions League clash with Rennes at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

“Frank Lampard has confirmed Kai Havertz has tested positive for Covid-19,” a statement on Chelsea’s website said.

“As a consequence the player is now undergoing a period of self-isolation and is not involved in tonight’s Champions League game versus Rennes.”

Havertz has endured a difficult start to his time at Chelsea since joining from Bayer Leverkusen in the close-season.

The 21-year-old has scored just one goal in the Premier League, struggling to reach his peak form after being used in a variety of positions by Blues boss Frank Lampard.

Liverpool Denied Derby Win By VAR As Chelsea Held In Six-Goal Thriller

Liverpool’s Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah (C) warms up before the English Premier League football match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on October 17, 2020. (Photo by Catherine Ivill / POOL / AFP) 

 

Liverpool were denied a cathartic victory against Premier League leaders Everton by VAR and Chelsea drew 3-3 with Southampton on another day of breathless drama in the English top-flight on Saturday.

Manchester City beat Arsenal 1-0 as Pep Guardiola got the better of former assistant Mikel Arteta, while misfiring Manchester United prepared to take on Newcastle in the late kick-off.

Jurgen Klopp’s champions were desperate to atone for their 7-2 mauling against Aston Villa before the international break but were forced to settle for a 2-2 draw after Jordan Henderson’s late strike was chalked off for offside.

Everton, who have not beaten Liverpool since 2010, remain three points clear of their Merseyside rivals at the top of the table after a number of controversial calls went their way at Goodison Park.

But Klopp was mystified that Henderson’s potential winner in added time against 10-man Everton was ruled out for a barely perceptible offside decision against Sadio Mane.

He was also at a loss to explain how Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford had not been dismissed and had not conceded an early penalty for a knee-high challenge on Virgil van Dijk.

“There were a number of big moments in the game,” said a baffled Klopp. “The only situation I saw back is the Henderson goal and I didn’t see offside. The picture I saw is no offside, but it was offside because somebody decided it.”

Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti was delighted with his side’s performance, even though they were denied a fifth straight Premier League win.

“We competed with them,” he said. “We were 1-0 down and equalised, 2-1 down and equalised. It was a good test and I have a good feeling.

“To know we can compete with the champions of the last season it gives us more confidence for the future.”

Sadio Mane, who missed the Villa Park mauling after testing positive for coronavirus, put Liverpool ahead in the third minute.

But the pivotal moment in the match came when Van Dijk was on the receiving end of a dangerous late lunge from Pickford inside the box minutes later.

However, no penalty was awarded after a VAR review because Van Dijk had been marginally offside and Pickford was lucky to avoid a red card.

The Dutchman was substituted and his towering presence was missed at the other end as Michael Keane equalised in the 19th minute.

Mohamed Salah put Liverpool back in front 18 minutes from time but Dominic Calvert-Lewin netted his 10th goal of the season to pull Everton level again.

Richarlison was shown a straight red card for a dangerous tackle on Thiago Alcantara in the 90th minute and Everton were grateful for the intervention of VAR in the final seconds.

 

Liverpool’s Spanish midfielder Thiago Alcantara (C) warms up before the English Premier League football match between Everton and Liverpool at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on October 17, 2020. (Photo by Catherine Ivill / POOL / AFP) 

 

Chelsea drama

Chelsea looked to be in total control after cruising into a 2-0 lead against Southampton at Stamford Bridge, courtesy of new signing Timo Werner’s first Premier League goals.

But a goal from Danny Ings shortly before half-time and a second-half strike from Che Adams wiped out their lead.

Frank Lampard’s side rallied immediately to regain the lead, Werner teeing up Kai Havertz for a neat dinked finish to make it 3-2.

But Southampton were not to be denied and Jannik Vestergaard bludgeoned home an added-time equaliser for Saints from a free-kick that Chelsea failed to clear.

Lampard said his side had to tighten up at the back after conceding three goals for the second time this season.

“We are seeing lots of goals across the league and no manager is happy” he said.

“I don’t know why it is. There are attacking players in this league and maybe pre-season and lack of working time plays a part. But we have to get better at it.”

City returned to winning ways after an indifferent start to the season, courtesy of a first-half goal from Raheem Sterling.

Aguero drove forward and fed Phil Foden on the left, with the England midfielder cutting in to shoot. Bernd Leno could only parry his effort, which fell kindly for Sterling to sidefoot home.

 

 

 

-AFP

Arsenal Midfielder Guendouzi Joins German Side Hertha Berlin On Loan

Matteo Guendouzi
Matteo Guendouzi has made 57 appearances for Arsenal. Photo: [email protected] Guendouzi

 

Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi on Monday signed a one-year loan deal to join Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin.

The 21-year-old, who can play as a central or defensive midfielder, is a product of the Paris Saint-Germain academy and has made 57 Premier League appearances for the Gunners.

Matteo Guendouzi has made 57 appearances for Arsenal. Photo: [email protected] Guendouzi
[email protected] Guendouzi

“Discussions with the club’s senior figures convinced me to join,” said Guendouzi in a statement.

“I don’t just want to develop personally, but help the whole club take the next step.”

Guendouzi has made 82 appearances for Arsenal and was a second-half replacement in the 2019 Europa League final defeat to Chelsea.

He has been called up four times by France but has yet to make his international debut.

AFP

Chelsea’s Bakayoko Undergoes Napoli Medical Before Loan Move

(FILES) In this file photo taken on April 19, 2018 Chelsea’s French midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko looks on during the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Chelsea at Turf Moor in Burnley, north west England.  Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Chelsea’s French international midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko arrived in Rome on Sunday for a medical ahead of a loan move to Napoli, according to multiple media reports in Italy.

The 26-year-old spent last season on loan at Ligue 1 side Monaco, having played for AC Milan during the 2018-2019 season, then coached by Napoli boss Gennaro Gattuso.

Bakayoko, who joined Chelsea in 2017 after three seasons with Monaco, will undergo medical tests in the Italian capital before a one-season loan move.

Napoli are expected to take on two million euros ($2.3 million) of the player’s annual 3.5 million salary, according to Gazzetta Dello Sport.

Bakayoko, who has one cap for France, will join up with his new teammates on Monday morning.

AFP

Lampard Warns Abraham After Chelsea Crush Palace

Chelsea’s French defender Kurt Zouma (R) scores his team’s second goal during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge in London on October 3, 2020. (Photo by Mike Hewitt / POOL / AFP)

 

Frank Lampard warned Tammy Abraham to respect the “rules” after the Chelsea striker argued with Cesar Azpilicueta over who should take a penalty in Saturday’s 4-0 thrashing of Crystal Palace.

With Chelsea leading 3-0 in the second half, Abraham wanted to take the Blues’ second penalty of the match instead of Jorginho, who is the team’s spot-kick expert and had already scored one just minutes earlier.

Abraham and Timo Werner discussed who should have it before Chelsea captain Azpilicueta intervened in a briefly heated debate.

He took the ball out of Abraham’s hands and gave it to Jorginho, prompting a dismissive wave from the striker.

 

Chelsea’s French defender Kurt Zouma scores a goal during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge in London on October 3, 2020. (Photo by Mike Hewitt / POOL / AFP) 

 

But Jorginho scored again to prove Azpilicueta’s point before Chelsea boss Lampard made it clear to Abraham that he had been in the wrong.

“It’s been dealt with. I want leaders and I don’t mind a little bit of conflict. If Tammy wanted to take it because he wants a goal or whatever it was then he can get put in his place a little bit,” Lampard said.

“I appreciate his eagerness because his performance deserved a goal but the rules are you don’t jump up ahead of the list at any moment. So, dealt with.”

Abraham’s outburst, fuelled by his desire to score his first league goal this season, couldn’t overshadow Lampard’s pleasure as Chelsea got back on track.

 

Crystal Palace’s players stand during a minute’s silence for police officer Ratana, who was killed on duty, during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge in London on October 3, 2020. (Photo by Kirsty Wigglesworth / POOL / AFP) 

 

Hampered by a heel injury, Ben Chilwell had a delayed start to his first season with Chelsea following his £50 million ($64 million) move from Leicester in August.

But the England left-back is making up for lost time after delivering an influential performance in his third game following a pair of League Cup outings.

While Lampard has invested in a host of attacking talent since the end of last season, here it was Chilwell efforts that broke down Palace’s stubborn defence at Stamford Bridge.

Chilwell’s thumping finish put Chelsea ahead soon after half-time and he provided the assist for Kurt Zouma’s header as the Blues doubled their lead.

Jorginho’s penalty double ensured Chelsea would bounce back from their midweek League Cup defeat against Tottenham and end a run of two successive league games without a win.

 

Chelsea’s English head coach Frank Lampard gestures during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge in London on October 3, 2020. (Photo by NEIL HALL / POOL / AFP)

 

The defensive blunders that contributed to their 3-3 draw at West Bromwich Albion were erased and, crucially, Lampard’s men found their cutting edge against defensive opponents.

“Not too many put four past Crystal Palace. We just needed to up the urgency of our game. We needed to get Ben Chilwell into the game,” Lampard said.

We couldn’t allow Palace’s back four to say dealing with Chelsea’s front line was easy.

“Ben Chilwell was fantastic today. His ability to be so high up the pitch, and that’s not a bad thing, and his great quality on the ball.”

 

Chelsea’s Spanish defender Cesar Azpilicueta (L) vies with Crystal Palace’s French-born Ghanaian striker Jordan Ayew during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge in London on October 3, 2020. (Photo by NEIL HALL / POOL / AFP)

 

Knockout blow

Lampard makes six changes to the side that fell three goals down at West Brom last weekend.

With the experienced Azpilicueta and Jorginho back in the starting line-up, Chelsea looked more stable and mature.

The first half followed a familiar pattern for Chelsea, who often dominated games without applying the knockout blow last season.

But this time they had the solution as the lively Chilwell finally broke the deadlock in the 50th minute.

Palace defender Mamadou Sakho made a hash of clearing Callum Hudson-Odoi’s cross and Azpilicueta hooked the ball to Abraham, whose determined header allowed Chilwell to fire home from six yards.

 

Chelsea’s English striker Tammy Abraham controls the ball during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge in London on October 3, 2020. (Photo by NEIL HALL / POOL / AFP) 

 

Chilwell was proving impossible for Palace to contain and he was catalyst for Chelsea’s second goal in the 66th minute.

Whipping a teasing cross into the Palace area from wide on the left, Chilwell found Zouma and the defender towered over Sakho to head home.

Chelsea were in control now and Jorginho made it three in the 78th minute when he slotted in a penalty after Abraham was fouled by Tyrick Mitchell.

Sakho conceded another penalty four minutes later and, after Abraham’s tantrum, Jorginho kept his focus to make it four.

 

 

-AFP

It Should Be Forbidden To Play Two Matches In 48 Hours- Mourinho

Mourinho
Tottenham Hotspur’s Portuguese head coach Jose Mourinho gestures during the English League Cup fourth round football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, on September 29, 2020. (Photo by Matt Dunham / AFP) 

 

Jose Mourinho believes players are being put in danger by the football authorities after Tottenham beat Chelsea 5-4 on penalties to progress to the quarter-finals of the League Cup after a 1-1 draw.

Mourinho’s men were playing the second of four games in eight days in three different competitions.

Eric Dier was the only outfield player retained in the Tottenham team that started Sunday’s 1-1 draw in the Premier League against Newcastle and the England defender had to dash from the field for a comfort break in the second-half.

“The number of minutes played is dangerous. What I did today with I Eric Dier today is very dangerous,” said Mourinho, suggesting that dehydration could have led to the defender’s problem.

“It should be forbidden to play two matches in 48 hours. What Eric Dier did is not human.”

Timo Werner’s first goal for Chelsea compounded Mourinho’s woes in a dominant start from Frank Lampard’s men.

But Erik Lamela deservedly levelled for Spurs seven minutes from time and new Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy was unable to stop Dier, Lamela, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Lucas Moura and Harry Kane scoring from the spot.

Tammy Abraham, Cesar Azpilicueta, Jorginho and Emerson also converted their penalties as the first nine of the shootout were successful.

But Mason Mount’s effort clipped the post to the delight of the watching Gareth Bale, who could be fit to feature in the last eight with the quarter-finals not till late December.

“Anything can happen on penalties,” said Lampard. “You want to stay in these competitions of course but there’s lots to like. We dominated the first half but the game changed (in the second-half).”

Mourinho claimed the fixture pile up gave him no choice but to prioritise Thursday’s Europa League tie against Maccabi Haifa given the financial incentive on offer for the club.

“I told the players they should only think about this game, but I have to think about three games,” added Mourinho, who faces another of his former clubs Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday.

“I cannot believe in 48 hours we are playing a European game. The boys were absolutely phenomenal.”

Lampard made eight changes, but Werner was one of those retained from the 3-3 draw at West Brom on Saturday and he took the opportunity to get his first goal for the club after a big-money move from RB Leipzig.

Tottenham debutant Sergio Reguilon was twice at fault in the build-up as he gifted possession to Azpilicueta and then dived in trying to block the Spaniard’s cross, which allowed the Chelsea captain to pick out Werner at the edge of the box to arrow a shot into the bottom corner.

Lampard had won his previous three meetings against his former manager Mourinho and the tensions between the two flared during the first-half as they exchanged angry words on the touchline.

On the field, Spurs were the better side as Mendy made important saves from Lamela and Reguilon either side of half-time.

Mourinho showed his intent by introducing Kane from the bench with 20 minutes to go.

Moments later the Portuguese was marching down the tunnel after Dier as the defender made a dash to the dressing room before quickly returning.

Chelsea did not make the most of a brief period with an extra man as Callum Hudson-Odoi fired over and Werner’s fierce effort was saved by Lloris.

“He wasn’t happy but there was nothing I could do about it, nature was calling,” said Dier of being pursued by Mourinho. “I heard there was a chance, but thankfully they didn’t score.”

Chelsea were punished when Lamela slotted home at the far post from Reguilon’s cross to send the game to a shootout and ultimately Spurs into the last eight.

-AFP

Aston Villa Sign Chelsea’s Barkley On Loan

Ross Barkley joins Villa on a season-long loan. Photo: [email protected] Villa

 

Aston Villa have announced the signing of midfielder Ross Barkley on a season-long loan from Chelsea.

The 26-year-old had made three appearances for Frank Lampard’s side this season, scoring once.

Villa manager Dean Smith said: “Capturing a player of Ross’s quality is a real coup for our club and I am certain he will thrive here and improve our team.”

The England international has been at Stamford Bridge since joining from Everton in January 2018.

https://twitter.com/AVFCOfficial/status/1311249680089649152?s=20

He will be unavailable for Thursday’s League Cup visit of Stoke, having already played in the competition for Chelsea this season.

Smith’s side have won their opening two Premier League games and Barkley could make his debut against Liverpool on Sunday.

AFP

Tottenham Beat Chelsea On Penalties To Progress In League Cup

Tottenham Hotspur's English striker Harry Kane (L) and Tottenham Hotspur's Argentinian midfielder Erik Lamela celebrate victory after Chelsea's English midfielder Mason Mount missed his penalty during the English League Cup fourth round football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, on September 29, 2020. Matt Dunham / AFP
Tottenham Hotspur’s English striker Harry Kane (L) and Tottenham Hotspur’s Argentinian midfielder Erik Lamela celebrate.

 

Mason Mount missed the final spot-kick as Tottenham beat Chelsea 5-4 on penalties to progress to the quarter-finals of the League Cup after a 1-1 draw.

Timo Werner’s first goal for Chelsea put Frank Lampard’s men in command against a much-changed Tottenham team playing the second of four games in eight days.

But Erik Lamela deservedly levelled for Spurs seven minutes from time and new Chelsea goalkeeper Edouard Mendy was unable to stop Eric Dier, Lamela, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Lucas Moura and Harry Kane scoring from the spot.

Tammy Abraham, Cesar Azpilicueta, Jorginho and Emerson also converted their penalties as the first nine of the shootout were successful.

But Mount’s effort clipped the post to the delight of the watching Gareth Bale, who could be fit to feature in the last eight with the quarter-finals not till late December.

Mourinho claimed the fixture pile up gave him no choice but to prioritise Thursday’s Europa League tie against Maccabi Haifa given the financial incentive on offer for the club.

But despite making nine changes, he named a strong side, including captain Hugo Lloris, club record signing Tanguy Ndombele and new signing Sergio Reguilon on his debut.

Chelsea also handed a debut to Mendy and the early signs from the Frenchman were encouraging that he can solve the Blues’ problem position.

Lampard made eight changes, but Werner was one of those retained from the 3-3 draw at West Brom on Saturday and he took the opportunity to get his first goal for the club after a big money move from RB Leipzig.

Reguilon was twice at fault in the build up as he gifted possession to Azpilicueta and then dived in trying to block the Spaniard’s cross, which allowed the Chelsea captain to pick out Werner at the edge of the box to arrow a shot into the bottom corner.

Tottenham responded well to going behind as only a last-ditch intervention from Kurt Zouma denied Gedson Fernandes an equaliser.

Lampard had won his previous three meetings against his former manager Mourinho and the tensions between the two flared during the first-half as they exchanged angry words on the touchline.

On the field, Spurs were the better side as Mendy made important saves from Lamela and Reguilon either side of half-time.

Mourinho showed his intent by introducing Harry Kane from the bench with 20 minutes to go.

Moments later the Portuguese was marching down the tunnel after Dier as the defender made a dash to the dressing room before quickly returning.

Chelsea did not make the most of a brief period with an extra man as Callum Hudson-Odoi fired over and Werner’s fierce effort was saved by Lloris.

And the visitors were punished seven minutes from time when Lamela slotted home at the far post from Reguilon’s cross to send the game to a shootout and ultimately Spurs into the last eight.

 

AFP

Mourinho Laments Fixtures Pile Up, Says Spurs Can’t Compete In League Cup

File photo: Tottenham Hotspur’s Portuguese head coach Jose Mourinho gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton, southern England on September 20, 2020. (Photo by ANDREW BOYERS / POOL / AFP) .

 

 

Jose Mourinho has blamed football chiefs for effectively preventing Tottenham Hotspur from fighting for League Cup success and fears more injuries as his side face three games in six days.

Spurs host Mourinho’s former club Chelsea in the League Cup fourth round on Tuesday before a final Europa League qualifying tie at home to Maccabi Haifa just 48 hours later.

The hectic week is topped off by a trip to Manchester United, another of the Portuguese manager’s former clubs, for a Premier League clash on Sunday.

Mourinho said he would like to mount a challenge for the League Cup but the added financial value of reaching the Europa League group stage meant that competition had to take precedence.

File photo: Tottenham Hotspur’s Portuguese head coach Jose Mourinho takes a team training session at Tottenham Hotspur’s Enfield Training Centre, in north London on November 25, 2019, ahead of their UEFA Champions League Group B football match against Olympiakos.
Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP

 

“I think you can imagine that with a game on Thursday, that decides a very important thing for us — I think the EFL (English Football League) made a decision for us,” said the Spurs boss.

“They didn’t even create a problem — they made a decision for us. So that’s the decision.”

Spurs lost Son Heung-min to a hamstring injury at half-time of the 1-1 draw with Newcastle on Sunday.

The South Korea forward had already hit the woodwork twice after scoring four goals in the previous Premier League outing at Southampton.

Mourinho believes Son’s setback will be the first of a number of injury problems his side will have to overcome due to their fixture congestion.

Asked if playing a Chelsea side who had to fight from three goals down to draw at West Brom on Saturday gave Tottenham a good chance of progressing in the League Cup, the Portuguese replied:

“You’re joking or you’re serious? Chelsea played Saturday, they have Sunday and Monday (off) then they play Tuesday and then they play again on the weekend.

“So their fantastic squad, if the manager decides not to rotate, he can perfectly play with the players that he wants.”

AFP

Lampard Blames Fast Paced Match Fixtures For Current Chelsea Form


Chelsea's English head coach Frank Lampard gestures during the English FA Cup semi-final football match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium in London, on July 19, 2020. Andy Rain / POOL / AFP
Chelsea’s English head coach Frank Lampard gestures during the English FA Cup semi-final football match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium in London, on July 19, 2020. Andy Rain / POOL / AFP

 

Frank Lampard says he is struggling to find the time to work with his new-look Chelsea team on the training pitch as the fixtures come thick and fast.

Tammy Abraham’s last-gasp strike rescued a 3-3 draw against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday after the London side had trailed 3-0.

The result means Chelsea have taken just four points from their first three Premier League matches after an opening win against Brighton and a 2-0 defeat to Liverpool.

Lampard, who has spent heavily during the summer transfer window, blamed “very clear individual mistakes” for his team’s problems at the Hawthorns.

But he said it was difficult to put in enough work on the training ground, with two matches a week and a looming international break.

“I keep saying it and I’m not pleading or making excuses — it’s just a fact,” Lampard said ahead of Tuesday’s League Cup clash against Tottenham.

“Part of the reason we had a successful year last year was the work we put in on the training ground.”

“When you have new players in you really want to work like that,” he added. “We haven’t had the chance. So not just at the back, the whole way we’re playing, it needs work.

“Football doesn’t work that you throw things together and everything is amazing because otherwise, we wouldn’t have had managers who have shown that work brings success.”

After Saturday’s home Premier League match against Crystal Palace, Chelsea are not in action again until October 17, with players jetting off to represent their countries.

Lampard said he hoped they would not be over-worked by international managers and would “come back safely”.

The Chelsea boss made a point of defending goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, whose future at Chelsea is in doubt after the signing of Senegal keeper Edouard Mendy from Rennes.

Lampard played down suggestions that the error-prone Spaniard may have played his last game for the club.

“It’s been a difficult time for Kepa,” he said. “I think that’s well-documented but I know it and he knows it.

“We should certainly not jump to that conclusion and also, which I feel quite strongly about in the last week, (we) understand that Kepa is a young man and a lot of the spotlight on him has become slightly unfair.

“I have to protect him because I know he’s a good lad and playing with absolute professionalism and intent to do the best he can.”

-AFP