Frank Lampard has expressed his delight after seeing Chelsea come from behind to beat Arsenal 2-1 on today, but warned his side that their first-half display was unacceptable.
Chelsea were dominated for the majority of the opening exchanges of an entertaining London derby at the Emirates, falling behind to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyangs’ first-half header in what was Mikel Arteta’s first home game in charge of Arsenal.
Having seen his side outplayed by the hosts, Lampard opted for an early tactical change and reverted away from his back three formation, introducing midfielder Jorginho to the heart of his midfield in place of the below-par Emerson Palmieri.
Jorginho’s introduction helped Chelsea gain greater control and it would be the Italian international who hit home an equaliser, arriving at the back post to tap home after a horrendous mistake from goalkeeper Bernd Leno.
The Blues’ victory would be sealed just four minutes later as Tammy Abraham turned smartly to fire home from Willian’s cross and secure a late comeback victory, though Lampard has warned his side they were below the standard required during a disappointing first period.
“We were so awful for 30 mins, slow lethargic, nervous. The opposite of against Tottenham,” Lampard told Sky Sports.
”We gave Arsenal everything they wanted. We made the change early, felt it had to be done. Second half we dominated.
“After 10 mins or so it was clear that Arsenal had seen us play against Tottenham and made us into a back five instead of a back three.
”They were on top and there was a lack of balance to our team. The sub gave us another man in midfield and gave us more urgency.”
The result saw Chelsea return to winning ways following their poor home defeat to Southampton on Boxing Day, and Lampard admits he demanded more from his players following a subdued first-half performance.
Asked if he had harsh words for his players at the interval, Lampard added: “Possibly. “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.
”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.”
Today’s win sees Chelsea move five points clear of fifth-place Man United, with the Blues travelling south to face Brighton on New Year’s Day.