Football

Frank Lampard blasts ‘lazy’ Chelsea after London Derby defeat

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard let rip at his players following their 3-1 loss at struggling London rivals Arsenal yesterday morning (Singapore time), saying their "lazy" performance had cost them the chance of going second in the English Premier League.

A penalty from Alexandre Lacazette and goals from Granit Xhaka and Bukayo Saka helped a youthful Arsenal side seal their first league win in nearly two months.

"It was an opportunity to go second against a team that are having a tough time," Lampard, whose side dropped to seventh, told Sky Sports.

"You either make it difficult for them or you give them a little opening and we did that from minute one and continued for 45 minutes. It was lazy to give away a penalty and lazy to give away a free-kick that he (Xhaka) puts in the top corner."

Arsenal made the breakthrough in the 35th minute when Kieran Tierney got across Reece James into the Chelsea area and tumbled under the slightest contact from the panicked defender.

Referee Michael Oliver's debatable decision to award a penalty survived a video assistant referee (VAR) review and Lacazette sent Edouard Mendy the wrong way from the spot.

Arteta was celebrating again in the 44th minute. N'Golo Kante fouled Saka and Xhaka did his bit to get back in favour when he whipped a free-kick over the Chelsea wall and into the top corner.

Saka made it 3-0 in the 56th minute as Hector Bellerin and Emile Smith Rowe combined to send the youngster into the area and his cross-shot looped over Mendy into the far corner.

Chelsea improved in the second half and Tammy Abraham reduced the deficit in the 85th minute before Jorginho missed a penalty with a poor effort.

"We fought ... but in the first half we gave ourselves too much to do," Lampard added.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was delighted as his team moved six points clear of the drop zone. "It doesn't get any better than winning a London Derby against Chelsea on Boxing Day," he said. "Hopefully, this is a turning point."

With matches against Brighton & Hove Albion and West Bromwich Albion coming next, the Gunners could climb to a healthy league position heading into 2021. - AFP, REUTERS

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