Chelsea has suffered as many defeats in their past six Premier League games as they did in the preceding 23 matches. So, how much pressure is coach Frank Lampard in?
The sight of Chelsea’s summer signing, Timo Werner feebly crumpling to the floor after kicking the flag instead of the ball when taking a corner summed up one of the most wretched days Lampard has endured as the Blues coach.
It was of no significance to the outcome as they came two minutes from the end of this magnificent Manchester City procession with Guardiola’s side taking the lead at 3-0.
Even so, this was closer to a comic moment. Chelsea’s inability to perform despite the most basic tasks raised eyebrows at Stamford Bridge and the club’s notoriously demanding hierarchy.
It was a thoroughly abysmal and ugly 90 minutes that brought Chelsea’s recent decline in form into seven sharper focus. However, as it is, Lampard cannot afford to dismiss what has already taken place.
Four defeats and one draw from the last six league games leave Chelsea in eight at the table. Admittedly, they are three points behind Spurs in fourth having played a game more. But with the results, performances and morale are on a steep downward trajectory.
Manchester City embarrassed Chelsea by cutting them apart with the first-half goals from Gundogan, Foden and De Bruyne. In fact, De Bruyne’s goal hinted at a Chelsea team that was totally and completely broken. To add to the embarrassment, City was without their world-class keeper Ederson, Gabriel Jesus, Kyle Walker, Eric Garcia and Ferran Torres as a result of COVID-19 and they managed to outclass Chelsea.
Through the second-half, Chelsea’s performance carried no hint of threat or defiance and neither did it have cohesion nor confidence. Actually, were it not for City being on an easy street, they could and should have lost by more.
As a result, of course, Lampard will address the issue on transition insisting new players need time to settle in their new surroundings. The coach will want all expectations viewed through this prism. But, this is Chelsea and Lampard knows the score better than anyone. He knows the rules at the club as he has lived with them long enough.