'It was the same old story' – Frank Lampard bemoans Chelsea's finishing power as Arsenal snatch a point
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard was critical of his side’s failure to take their chances as Arsenal came from behind on two occasions to claim a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge.
Ten-man Arsenal overcame David Luiz’s first half red card to snatch a draw after Hector Bellerin scored an 87th-minute leveller three minutes after opposing captain Cesar Azpilicueta thought he had claimed a victory for Chelsea.
Jorginho opened the scoring by converting his second penalty in three matches after Luiz was sent off for hauling down Tammy Abraham just when the Chelsea striker was about to tap into an empty net, with Gabriel Martinelli scoring again for Arsenal as they showed a battling spirit that was lacking under previous manager Unai Emery.
Lampard suggested his side will not secure Champions League football next season if they continue to spurn their chances in front of goal, as he offered up a damning verdict on their failure to make the most of their chances.
“If we continue like this we won’t finish top four,” said a downbeat Lampard on a night when his lead marksman Tammy Abraham picked up an injury. “I am disappointed given the situation of the game. We completely deserved to go 1-0 up.
“For a little bit after that we were getting used to them with 10 men but we created enough chances in the second half, it was just the same old story, we couldn’t take them. In football, basic errors can cost you points.
“We got a goal, they went down to 10 men and we have to do better to score another goal. Then we didn’t defend and gifted them two goals. That’s people not doing their jobs which they should know. Moments like that lose you points at this level.
“We could have had three or four goals today. Having shots, crosses and lots of ‘ooh’ moments. We have to be clinical.
“When game day comes you have to have the killer instinct. We’ve not got that at the moment. We might be a bit young and a bit of transition about us but we have to have that quality. It’s nothing on the crowd, that’s about us.”
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta saluted his players as he insisted they are showing real spirit as they look to rebuild their season.
“I wasn’t here a couple of weeks ago but what I am demanding every day they are trying their best to do it,” said the Arsenal boss.
“Some are playing in different positions. The togetherness and leadership they showed today, this is what I wanted to see. It’s very important for our development. We are in a process and are going in the right direction but I think tonight is a special night for everybody.
“I am very pleased with the reaction. To do that against this kind of opponent in this stadium, I really value. The way they have done it, with the spirit they have done it, that’s great.
“When someone makes a mistake you expect your team-mates to stand up and they showed that belief, I was really impressed with that.”
Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka saluted his side’s battling sport on a night when they scored with their only two shots on target.
“We played very well after the red card,” said the Swiss midfielder. “So difficult, but we showed great team spirit. We were speaking at half time that we can do it and we came twice back so I am very proud of this team.
“After this game nobody will have to speak about us. We showed big character. A lot of people say we have no character in the team, so after this game we showed we have.
“I hope centre-back is not my new position, but the gaffer knows I can play there. I tried to help the team, and the guys around me made it easy for me today.”
Arsenal goal scorer Bellerin to BT Sport that his side have rediscovered their spirit since Arteta too over as Gunners manager.
“Everything is due to team work. It was a really hard game with 10 men and losing a very important player for us,” he stated. “We turned it around. We were 1-0 down at half-time and saw it as an opportunity to get back into the game.
“We are a team that are always looking to improve, to defend together and to not give up. Gabriel Martinelli took it really well. He was very calm. He finished it really well. That is why we practise in training every day.”
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