Frustrated Lampard laments Chelsea's missed chances, says Chelsea season 'starts here'

Frank Lampard was once again left to rue wasteful finishing as his Chelsea side succumbed to a 2-0 home defeat to Manchester United.

Frank Lampard felt aggrieved that VAR was not on Chelsea's side against Manchester United.   -  Getty Images

Chelsea's season has to "start now" according to Frank Lampard, whose side wasted chances and endured VAR frustration as it lost 2-0 at home to Manchester United.

The Blues, who face Tottenham next, have now won just one of their past six Premier League matches after Monday's defeat at Stamford Bridge, with their place in the top four under serious threat.

Manchester City's ban from the Champions League – should it be upheld – will mean fifth place could be enough for a Premier League side to qualify for Europe's top-tier competition for next season.

However, just seven points separate Chelsea and Arsenal in 10th in what has become a congested race for Europe.

Lampard felt aggrieved that VAR was not on Chelsea's side against United, with Harry Maguire escaping a possible red card for a clash with Michy Batshuayi and the Blues seeing two goals disallowed in the second half, but he again pointed to his side's profligacy in front of goal as a factor in their defeat.

"It's tough to take on lots of levels, some footballing, some others," Lampard, who was without leading scorer Tammy Abraham due to injury, told Sky Sports.

"It's frustrating, but that's life. I'm not upset with the work ethic or input. Their heads are down in there and I have to correct that. It's not a 2-0 game but the reality of football is that it is a 2-0 game because of moments. 

"We have a feeling of Groundhog Day, whatever you want to call it. There are footballing things, which get clearer every week.

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"There's always work to do every day. At the minute, we're fourth and the season starts here. There are things I can criticise; I'm not soft. If we're not going to have productivity to finish, it's very difficult to win games."

Anthony Martial gave United a half-time lead but Kurt Zouma thought he had restored parity early in the second half, only for the goal to be ruled out for a foul by Cesar Azpilicueta, who was deemed to have pushed Brandon Williams.

Olivier Giroud's header was then disallowed for offside after Maguire had made it 2-0 from a Bruno Fernandes corner.

"Maguire should get a red card and then he scores the second goal, and the game changes off that," Lampard, who also confirmed N'Golo Kante had suffered an adductor injury, said in a news conference.

"That's a major part of what VAR was for. The referee can't see all the angles and if you're not going to use the monitor, I don't understand it.

"The Zouma goal should have stood. Azpilicueta gets shoved in the first place. It's certainly not clear and obvious. It's just a wrong decision, isn't it, which is harder to take with the presence of VAR than it would have been before.

"Love it or hate it, if something happens and they don't make the right decision, it's very confusing to say the least. Everyone I've spoken to has said the same thing."

Laments missed chances

Lampard wants to see his team capitalise on its opportunities, with its tally of 43 Premier League goals well below the top three of Liverpool (61), Manchester City (65) and Leicester City (54).

"I don't like losing games," he told a news conference. "I don't like the way we are losing games because we're losing games that clearly, particularly at home, where we have had big share of possession, big chances in the game, lots of shots on goal, at goal, around goal and we're not finishing them and it is a reality that is getting clearer all the time.

"We are not getting enough goals from striker areas. Tammy [Abraham] had his period earlier in the season, now we are not getting enough. We're not getting enough goals from wide areas. That is a fact.

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"It is hard to win games. You can dominate them as much as you want, but this Premier League not many teams can keep clean sheets week in, week out.

"You have to score goals to give you a feeling of superiority in the game and we start a lot of games very well. I can hardly ever really look at the team and go 'started slow, bit sloppy today'. There was a couple of games but not that many."

While Abraham has scored 13 Premier League goals this season, he has just one in 2020, while Christian Pulisic – who alongside Mason Mount has five – is out injured.

Lampard added: "We start pretty well but if you don't score you leave teams in the game.

"Obviously we made a couple of silly moments in terms of allowing them headers in our box, particularly the set-piece that obviously changed the result."

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