Chelsea are not the only team with defensive difficulties, insists Frank Lampard

The Blues kick off their Champions League campaign at home to Sevilla on Tuesday evening.

By Press Association Published: 20 October 2020 - 5.24am

Frank Lampard insists Chelsea are not alone in their defensive frailties but accepts his side’s shaky backline must swiftly improve.

The Blues kick off their Champions League campaign at home to Sevilla on Tuesday evening amid serious concerns about their propensity for conceding goals.

Lampard’s side have shipped an alarming 63 goals in 43 matches since he was appointed manager last year, including nine in five Premier League fixtures this term, three of those in Saturday’s draw with Southampton.

While he is understandably eager to tighten up, the 42-year-old says plenty of other top-flight clubs have been suffering similar issues following a glut of goals at the start of the new campaign.

“Of course we want to concede fewer goals, as all teams do at the moment,” said Lampard.

“Teams are conceding a lot of goals in the Premier League and we’re all in a similar position to a degree with that at the moment.

“But it will always be something we work on as much as we do our attacking play.

Chelsea let in a late equaliser during Saturday's 3-3 draw with Southampton
Chelsea let in a late equaliser during Saturday’s 3-3 draw with Southampton (Mike Hewitt/PA)

“I wouldn’t say my DNA is to be a natural attacking manager. Every manager wants to build a balanced team and one that can be strong in both defence and attack.

“We’re working hard defensively and we’re always trying to improve on that.

“The issues are that we don’t concede many shots on our goal but, when we do, we concede goals.”

Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta shares Lampard’s defensive concerns.

Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta has called for defensive improvement
Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta has called for defensive improvement (Kirsty Wigglesworth/PA)

Ahead of the Group E opener against the Europa League holders, the Spanish defender admitted the club would struggle to challenge for silverware based on current performance levels.

“What is clear is that if we want to fight for everything we have to improve defensively,” said Azpilicueta

“This is a problem we have to fix collectively and individually. Sometimes you can get away with it but you cannot rely every game on having to score three goals.

“You have to dig in and get a clean sheet. It’s very important for the confidence of the team to have this solidity. We have to start getting this consistency of not conceding goals.

“As a defender I feel bad when you concede so many goals. We have to improve our personal mistakes and collectively take better decisions.”