Belfast Telegraph

Blues facing a test of character now: Lampard

Chelsea 0 West Ham 1

Frank Lampard
Frank Lampard

By Robert Jones

Frank Lampard admitted Chelsea had been given a reality check after West Ham stunned his side to win 1-0 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Aaron Cresswell fired the Hammers to their first Premier League triumph at the home of their London rivals in 17 years to hand under-fire boss Manuel Pellegrini a major boost.

The left-back turned Reece James inside out before whipping past Kepa Arrizabalaga to condemn Lampard to defeat in his first match as Chelsea boss against his former club.

Lampard said: We were not at our best, that was very clear. We came up below par and that's something I've not had to say much this season. If anything it's a test for us here and a reality check for us to react very quickly.

"We can't use playing in Valencia as an excuse, that's why we have a squad. We didn't create as much as we normally do, and we gave away too many opportunities. For a long time people have given us a lot of credit but football doesn't work like that, it's a test of character for us now.

"Tammy has been playing well and scoring goals, and when we lose him you're looking for goals not just in his area but different areas of the pitch. We didn't have enough punch in the final third. We missed Tammy but that is not an excuse."

Pellegrini dropped calamity keeper Roberto and brought in 33-year-old David Martin for his Premier League debut.

"It was very difficult (to drop Roberto). It's a position you must be very careful of when you change it. I gave him the most amount of matches you can as a manager, but at the moment we needed a reaction.

"It was a very important win, because we have had results that are not expected or deserved. You must be solid and consistent. That was the major change that we did compared with other games and it allowed us to keep a clean sheet and beat a team like Chelsea who are in a very good moment."

Belfast Telegraph


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