Frank Lampard told his Chelsea stars they “should have done better” as they threw away a 2-0 lead to draw 3-3 with Southampton at Stamford Bridge.
Two terrific first-half goals from Timo Werner had put Chelsea on the front foot in the Premier League clash, but the hosts allowed Danny Ings to saunter through their defence to cut the deficit just before the interval.
Out-of-sorts goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, in for the injured Edouard Mendy, made what is almost a customary clanger and was punished in the second half as Che Adams equalised for Southampton.
Kai Havertz looked to have won it when he restored Chelsea’s lead, but Theo Walcott’s stoppage-time shot was helped in by Jannik Vestergaard to give Southampton a point.
Chelsea spent lavishly on Werner and Havertz during the transfer window but central defence remains a big problem, and with veteran Brazilian Thiago Silva missing for Saturday’s game, the partnership of Kurt Zouma and Andreas Christensen looked far too fragile.
Head coach Lampard said of the outcome: “I am frustrated and the players are. The first half was as good as we have played this season, we got two goals and could have scored more.
“You know if you concede late in the half it changes the game. It’s disappointing.”
Lampard feels we played some great stuff in the first half but we didn’t finish the game off and conceded at a bad time right before the break. In the second half, he felt we allowed Southampton to build up a head of steam.#CHESOU
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) October 17, 2020
Chelsea indeed did impress for 40 minutes, but the drop-off that followed was alarming.
Lampard added: “They made it difficult in the second half, but we should have done better.”
He brought in Mendy from Rennes because the frequent errors from Kepa were proving so costly, and it was an all-too-familiar set of circumstances involving the Spaniard in this match.
By timidly going into a challenge with Adams, Kepa found himself losing the ball and soon picking it out of his net.
Although the goalkeeper made a number of decent saves, notably denying Ings as Southampton pushed forward late on, the mistakes are an element of his game that have become a constant.
“He has to be strong enough,” Lampard said. “That is what it is like in elite sport and goalkeepers have to deal with that. It’s a shame, because he made some good saves.
“It’s a mistake we should have dealt with and if you are going to concede those types of goals then it’s not something we can have in our game.”
The goals from Werner pleased Lampard at least, with the former RB Leipzig striker getting off the mark in the Premier League on his fifth appearance.
“They were really good individual goals and he looked sharp. It’s great for his confidence and we’ll see a lot more of that,” the Chelsea boss said.