Frank Lampard led the celebrations in north London for the second weekend in a row.
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His Chelsea side have now beaten London rivals Tottenham and Arsenal in their last two away games to boost their hopes of finishing in the top four, as they won 2-1 at Arsenal on Sunday and secured their first comeback win of the season in spirited fashion.
Lampard was delighted at the full time whistle but his side were 1-0 down early and he hooked off Emerson Palmeri after 30 minutes and brought on Jorginho as he changed their shape from a 3-4-3 to a 4-2-3-1.
“We were so awful for 30 minutes we were slow, nervous, lethargic. The opposite of against Tottenham. We gave them everything they wanted,” Lampard explained. “We made the change early, felt it had to be done. After 10 minutes or so it was clear Arsenal had seen us play against Tottenham, they made us into a back five instead of a back three, pushed their wingers up, and they were on top and there was a lack of balance in our team. The sub gave us another man in midfield and gave us more urgency.”
Chelsea totally dominated the second half of the game after Arsenal came flying out of the traps with new manager Mikel Arteta taking charge of his first home game as Gunners boss.
Lampard admitted that was a factor in Chelsea’s early struggles but also revealed he launched into a lively half time team talk to get his boys going.
“From my point of view you can accept a miss-pass but you can’t accept lethargy in a London derby. The players were told that and they delivered,” Lampard said. “The second half was nothing to do with tactics it was all to do with spirit and desire. I still haven’t bounced back from Boxing Day mentally (loss to Southampton). Our next home games we’ll do everything we can to turn the corner. We’re still in fourth and want more and the home games have been different so we have to focus on them when they come around.”
This young side Chelsea are very Jekyll and Hyde right now as they’ve won away at Spurs and Arsenal but lost at home to Bournemouth and Southampton in their last four Premier League games.
As they head into 2020 and they’re now able to buy players in the January transfer window, Lampard’s priority will now be to pick up a new left back and to find more consistency from this young team.
At the start of the season if you had said Chelsea would be in the top four at the halfway point and in the UCL last 16, they would have snapped your hand off for that.
There have been speed bumps in the road so far but Chelsea continue to surprise us and trailing 1-0 at a fired up Arsenal, Lampard’s brave tactical and personnel switch paid off as his team dug deep and showed their character.