Chelsea's win over Liverpool highlights Frank Lampard’s biggest issue this season
There is no questioning that Chelsea deserved their 2-0 FA Cup win over Liverpool last night.
The Blues were the better team at Stamford Bridge, and even though the Reds had some good chances, they struggled to be at their usual, fluid best.
Chelsea were up for the match. Challenges flying in, second balls being won and an atmosphere hot enough to match the action.
However, for all the great play of the night, it only adds to the frustration of why Chelsea can’t repeat that in every game.
Looking back over the course of the campaign, Chelsea’s best performances have come against the ‘big six’, where they have looked to have that extra steely edge to their game.
The Blues lost to Liverpool narrowly in the Premier League at home, with a similar result at Manchester City.
Of course, they did the double over Tottenham Hotspur with two excellent displays, while a win and a draw against Arsenal were decent results.Read More Related Articles Read More Related Articles
The one team where they have struggled against has been Manchester United, losing all three of their encounters against Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s team.
But in the main, when they have needed to dig in against the bigger clubs, they have done so and pushed all the way.
However, the intensity and extra fighting spirit has often been missing when they have taken on teams who they should beat.
Often, Chelsea have dominated possession, but have lacked the spark and extra zip in their game to get all three points.
What’s the answer? Even Frank Lampard isn’t 100 per cent sure.
"I have gone over that quite a lot this season," Lampard said. "There’s a big positive and some negatives to that. When we've played against teams who have defended deep and we haven't been able to break them down.Read More Related Articles Read More Related Articles
"In the first two games against Liverpool we may have played better football at times. We had more control at the Bridge in the second half and in the Super Cup we were the better team in parts.
"But today there was an extra spirit about us and we should take positives from that because we can compete with the big teams. But what wins or loses games is what you do in both boxes.
"Today we got a slice of luck defending but with some quality saves from Kepa and quality defending from individuals. And we took two chances that won us the game. And those are the rules.
"Where we’re at is we’re still in transition and we’re still working to close the gap to the opponent today. And to do that we have to find consistency. That’s another question."
After the high of beating Liverpool, another Merseyside team roll into west London with Everton the visitors to Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
The way that Chelsea’s season has gone, the safe money would probably be on the Toffees coming away with a late victory.
If Chelsea are to finish inside the Premier League’s top four at the end of the season, then they need to bottle up Tuesday night’s spirit and recreate it over and over again.