A disgruntled Frank Lampard knows Chelsea simply cannot afford the sort of slip-up that saw them give away a two-goal lead against Sheffield United on Saturday.
The Blues looked set to ease to victory over their newly promoted opponents when the in-form Tammy Abraham scored twice before the break at Stamford Bridge.
However, Callum Robinson pulled one back in the first minute of the second period and Chelsea were left stunned when Lys Mousset’s effort went in off Kurt Zouma in the 89th minute to earn the Blades a 2-2 draw.
“It was under control, it is our fault because we gifted them a goal in the first minute of the second half and then it makes the game more difficult,” said Lampard, whose side have picked up just five points from their first four Premier League matches.
“We gave away a game that should have been very, very comfortable.
“There is no chance that game should be able to swing like that from our point of view. We shouldn’t give them an opportunity to come back in the game. In fact we should be taking it further away from them.
“That’s no disrespect to Sheffield United, they’re a good team and we gave them the possibilities to hurt us. We allowed that when really we should have been closing the game out. The players know that very well now.”
Much has been made of Chelsea’s reliance on youth this term as the club cope with a transfer ban.
Their starting line-up on Saturday had an average age of 24 years and 158 days, their youngest in a Premier League match, but Lampard said that could not be used an excuse for Chelsea failing to claim victory.
24 – The average age of Chelsea’s starting XI against Sheffield United today is 24 years and 158 days – their youngest ever in a Premier League match. Whippersnappers. pic.twitter.com/b4Zdii94jO
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 31, 2019
“We want to win games, so the emergence of youth is one thing but winning games for Chelsea is another and when you are 2-0 up at half-time at home, you should win the game, it’s as simple as that,” he added.
“Of course there’s going to be a process… we know that maybe with younger players there will be moments where we have to be a little bit patient, but we had more than enough on the pitch to win a game that we’re 2-0 up in.”
In contrast to Lampard, United boss Chris Wilder was predictably delighted.
He told BBC Sport: “After being 2-0 down, a point is a great result for us. That shows you what the character in this team is like.”