EPL

Lampard challenges Chelsea keeper Kepa to show 'mettle' amid criticism

By Sports Desk January 22, 2020

Frank Lampard encouraged Kepa Arrizabalaga to stand up under scrutiny following Chelsea's wasteful 2-2 Premier League draw against Arsenal on Tuesday.

Spain international Kepa, whose form has been called into question, appeared slow to react to Hector Bellerin's curling equaliser in the 87th minute at Stamford Bridge.

Jorginho and Cesar Azpilicueta earlier scored either side of Gabriel Martinelli's solo effort but the Blues were left to rue two dropped points despite having a man advantage for over an hour following David Luiz's red card.

"I know there's a focus on him at the minute," Lampard said when asked about Kepa.

"That's top-line football. Yeah, with his feet, a couple of times he took too long and nearly gave it away. Sometimes that can change the momentum of a game.

"That's something he will know, has to look at and we will look at. It's normal.

"Any player, particularly goalkeepers, people will look at you. That's when you stand up and show the mettle you've got. He is not the only one.

"We are in fourth position, which is seen as pretty good. I know and we know there should be another 10 points on the board at least on performance. All of us need to look at those finer details."

Chelsea also have concerns at the other end, with Tammy Abraham in visible discomfort during the latter stages of the game after sliding into the advertising hoarding.

Lampard said he was unsure about the severity of the injury, which resulted in the striker being helped off at full-time.

"I don't know. He has got a bang on his ankle. He had ice on it," the Blues boss said.

"I haven't spoken to him yet, so I can't really update you on that."

Christian Pulisic, meanwhile, is not expected to return from an adductor problem until after the February break.

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