An enraged Frank Lampard ripped into Chelsea’s dismal performance after Sheffield United strengthened their push for European qualification with a comprehensive 3-0 victory at Bramall Lane.
David McGoldrick broke the deadlock with his first-ever Premier League goal inside 20 minutes and Oli McBurnie doubled the Blades’ advantage going into the break, directing a simple header past Kepa Arrizabalaga.
The visitors looked vulnerable throughout and McGoldrick capitalised on Antonio Rudiger’s woeful clearance to put Chris Wilder’s men out of sight with 13 minutes remaining.
The result means Sheffield United are just four points off fifth-placed Manchester United while Chelsea will be looking over their shoulders, with Leicester one point adrift of them with a game in hand.
Lampard cut a frustrated figure on the touchline from practically minute one at Bramall Lane and the Chelsea manager pulled no punches in a candid post-match interview with Sky Sports.
“They were better than us,’ Lampard said. ‘Better than us physically, better than us in the mind, better than us with the ball so you lose the game. ‘They were stronger than us.
We don’t have a crowd here at the minute so you hear every voice and all I could hear was Sheffield United voices so they were stronger in that sense.
“They’re good players, they’re a good team. We all know that this season so if you come here and perform below par collectively as we did, it’s gonna happen.”
Lampard blasted his players for failing to get the ball to his wingers, considering Christian Pulisic, in particular, had been firing on all cylinders ahead of Chelsea’s trip to South Yorkshire.
“We matched them and we respect the way they play but we were too slow with the ball, we weren’t even getting our wingers into the game and our wingers have been fantastic since the restart. We weren’t getting them into the game,” he continued.
“So we just tried to get more of a control of the game which we did do but we never looked overly threatening. ‘They still had the counter-attack. It definitely made us look more solid against their shape but already at 2-0 down you’ve made it difficult for yourself.”
On the goals Chelsea conceded, Lampard responded: “Disappointing. Mistakes. ‘I’ve got to be careful overanalysing this one because it’s what you do: you analyse all season, review, look forward.
“What we have to do now is put that game to bed because the only thing that matters now is that we fight for top four and we’re still in that race because of how we’ve been this season. ‘But I learned a lot and I won’t forget that.”
The Chelsea boss added: “I’m not concerned so much about the top four today. ‘All I do is sit and watch all the games because of course, I want to get there but today I’m concerned about how we performed. I learned a lot about that. ‘I’m not thinking we might be fifth, third, or fourth or whatever we’ll see by the time those teams play. ‘We cannot approach Norwich or Manchester United, Liverpool, or Wolves in the same vein that we did today.”