Frank Lampard admitted that his Chelsea side were given a “lesson” in their 3-1 loss to Manchester City, while asking for patience during the club’s ongoing rebuild.
City were irresistible in the first half at Stamford Bridge, scoring three times to get the game past their hosts in just over half an hour.
Ilkay Gundogan caught first, pivoting over the edge of the box before firing a shot into the bottom corner, while Phil Foden and Kevin De Bruyne would also score before the break. Callum Hudson-Odoi would then grab a consolation in the dying minutes of the second half.
The loss was Chelsea’s fourth in six Premier League games and soon after it was reported that Lampard’s job was in jeopardy.
Speaking at his post-match press conference, he admitted City’s result and his side’s recent poor form has been difficult to take.
“The players felt a real lesson on the pitch in that first half,” Lampard said (via The Telegraph).
“I had some tough times last year. Maybe there were mitigating circumstances that people didn’t see them the same … and to me they felt tough and tough because I’m a perfectionist and want the best for this club so the first person to put the pressure on [on me] that’s me and there were times in the last year that I felt the pressure. “
Despite spending over £ 200million this summer, the result leaves Chelsea seven points behind co-leaders Liverpool and Manchester United, who both have a game in hand. They are also worse off, in terms of points, than they were after 17 games last season.
Lampard added that Chelsea’s poor run could be partly explained by the influx of new talent this season, insisting the club would have to endure some “pain” before returning to the top of English football.
He said: “I was real after Leeds to say that we are not title contenders, I am real now to say this club has to take a bit of a hard time to get to where we want to be because any rebuilding and the [transfer] the ban on having the players we brought is painful. It means pain behind the scenes, pain on the pitch every now and then, fighting and character and that’s how you build. “