EPL

It's my job to give Kepa confidence, says Lampard

By Sports Desk September 20, 2020

Kepa Arrizabalaga has "held his hands up" after making a calamitous error in Chelsea's defeat to Liverpool, but Frank Lampard insists it is his responsibility to give the goalkeeper confidence. 

Sadio Mane scored twice as Premier League champions Liverpool made it two wins from two with a 2-0 triumph at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Kepa – whose days as Chelsea's first-choice appear to be numbered given the club are reportedly close to signing Edouard Mendy from Rennes – was at fault for Mane's second, passing the ball straight to Liverpool's forward, who drilled home from close range.

Though Lampard stated Kepa must take responsibility for the mistake, he claimed he is the person who needs to instil some belief in the former Athletic Bilbao shot-stopper, who was signed as the world's most expensive goalkeeper in 2018.

"My job as a manager is to try to give Kepa confidence, because a goalkeeper absolutely relies on confidence," Lampard told Sky Sports.

"It's a clear mistake – Kepa has accepted that, as he should, and held his hands up. We, as a group, have to accept that joint responsibility, these things do happen. It's obviously a clear mistake. 

"How do you gauge confidence? I don't know. There are lots of things in football, one is confidence, another is work, the other is circumstances. It was just a clear mistake today."

All of Chelsea's players had average positions within their own half, and they managed just three attempts on target, including a failed penalty by Jorginho.

However, Lampard believes his side – who had Andreas Christensen sent off late in the first half – can take confidence from aspects of their performance.

"I'm disappointed to lose three points, as you should be, but I'm actually happier with today, in many ways, than I was with Brighton [Monday's 3-1 win]," he added. 

"Brighton was three points and an okay performance, we're in pre-season still as we've not had long enough to train. Today I saw spirit, saw a desire to defend by a lot of our players.

"You play half a game with 10 men, you don't make that mistake for the second goal, you score the penalty and it's 1-1. I know that's not football, I know I can't reflect on that, but those are the realities. The players should take heart – it's how we move forward from now."

Christensen was sent off after referee Paul Tierney consulted the pitchside monitor following a VAR check, with the defender having hauled down Mane as the last man, though Lampard was not certain it should have been a red.

"Not definitely," he said. "They can get given or not. Once yellow is the first decision, you feel it needs to be absolutely critical to be a red.

"I'm not sure it was. I'm not going to sit here and complain too much, it's one that I felt could be given, or not. "

Related items

  • Imperious Ramos leaves us wondering exactly what Koeman's Barcelona are supposed to be Imperious Ramos leaves us wondering exactly what Koeman's Barcelona are supposed to be

    The past week showed everyone that Real Madrid are vulnerable. Everyone it seems, except Ronald Koeman.

    Consecutive defeats and some rather loud questions about the future of Zinedine Zidane meant Saturday's game at Camp Nou was one he dare not lose. For Koeman, this was a chance to go for the jugular, to show LaLiga and the watching world what improvements he has made to Barcelona since taking over in August.

    Instead, the first Clasico of the season was a commanding 3-1 win for Madrid, a bruising outing for Lionel Messi and a 90-minute showcase of how unclear the Koeman blueprint seems to be.

    He went, as expected, with Barca's first starting 4-2-3-1 in a Clasico since at least 2005-06, but his line-up was still puzzling. Ansu Fati is a rare talent with a robustness under pressure to match – and, of course, he scored here to cancel out Federico Valverde's opener – but Pedri, another 17-year-old, was chosen ahead of Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele as two of Barca's most expensive signings again began on the bench.

    The two France forwards are hardly untouchables in this side, but starting a player of such limited experience as Pedri was a gamble that didn't pay off. He completed 79.5 per cent of his passes, the lowest rate of any starting player for Barca, and failed to have a shot or create a chance. It was a surprise that it took until the 81st minute for Koeman to bring him off.

    By the time Griezmann and Dembele were summoned in the second half, with Barca chasing the game, it was too little, too late. Sergio Ramos, the major-general of Zidane's fiercest battles, had seen to that.

    The Madrid captain can claim to be the most critical asset to either side of this famous rivalry, Messi included. Zidane had insisted this week he would not use Ramos were he not 100 per cent fit, but it sounded a hollow threat. Those chastening defeats to Cadiz and Shakhtar Donetsk had shown the boss that playing Ramos here was worth the risk.

    So it proved. Ramos made four clearances, three interceptions and one crucial block from a Philippe Coutinho effort at 2-1. He misplaced just three of 55 passes and completed all 15 of those attempted in the Barca half. When Clement Lenglet foolishly took a handful of his shirt to concede a penalty, there seemed only one outcome. Not even VAR delays can throw Ramos off his stride.

    He capped his display by stopping a late Messi run with an almost impudent back-foot challenge, the kind that will likely have fan accounts on social media sharing the footage every week until the reverse fixture.

    Still, even with their captain back in the team, this is a flawed and fragile Madrid, with no fit recognised right-backs and who had only scored six goals in five league games, yet Koeman's set-up left them an easy ride.

    After Messi had a shot well blocked by Thibaut Courtois 24 minutes in, Barca did not muster a single effort on target, meaning Luka Modric's composed late finish was scarcely even necessary. It was all too deep, too central and too slow; for Ramos and his fellow defenders, it was a picnic.

    It is still early in the season to write off Koeman's chances, but two wins from five games and a six-point gap to Madrid at the top – albeit with a game in hand – are sufficient warning signs of the task at hand.

    Ernesto Valverde's Barca were too rigid and Quique Setien's frighteningly open, but, after more than two months, we're no closer to knowing what kind of team Koeman's are.

  • Ramos: Pivotal Madrid penalty 'very clear' Ramos: Pivotal Madrid penalty 'very clear'

    Sergio Ramos felt the penalty he won and scored to inspire Real Madrid to a Clasico triumph at Barcelona was "very clear".

    With Saturday's clash at Camp Nou level at 1-1 in the second half after early goals from Federico Valverde and Ansu Fati, Ramos went down in the Barca box.

    It was an extravagant fall from the Madrid captain but caught the attention of the VAR, with replays highlighting a blatant tug on his shirt from Clement Lenglet.

    A spot-kick was subsequently awarded and Ramos found the net before Luka Modric made sure of the points in the 90th minute.

    Barca players were furious with the penalty decision, but Ramos saw no controversy in the call.

    "The penalty is very clear," he said. "For me, the action is clear. The referees and the VAR are there to help us."

    Wins at Barca are always worthy of celebration for Madrid, but this success was especially precious after consecutive home defeats to Cadiz and Shakhtar Donetsk.

    Ramos played just 45 minutes across those matches due to a knee problem and was delighted by the LaLiga champions' response in Catalonia.

    "It was a week in which to vindicate ourselves and a Clasico is a unique match in the world," he said. "We faced it with great enthusiasm.

    "You always have to be united and you cannot regret bad streaks or previous results.

    "We are happy with the three points, and emotionally it is very good for the next matches. It is always very rewarding to win at our eternal rivals."

    He added: "A week of crisis at Real Madrid is two games. We have to keep adding three points at a time and keep the good energy of the group.

    "There are points that taste like glory - that is how it is here at our eternal rivals' stadium. This team has won a lot and we want to continue doing so."

    Ramos was influential at both ends of the field, with Madrid requiring their skipper to lead a determined defensive stand between his goal and Modric's.

    The centre-back, who had more shots (four) and shots on target (three) than any team-mate, weighed in with three tackles, four clearances, three interceptions and a block.

    He won seven of his 10 duels and all three in the air as Madrid batted away wave after wave of Barcelona attack over a 25-minute spell.

  • Davies facing up to eight weeks out as Bayern confirm ankle ligament tear Davies facing up to eight weeks out as Bayern confirm ankle ligament tear

    Bayern Munich expect Alphonso Davies to be out for up to eight weeks after the full-back damaged ankle ligaments against Eintracht Frankfurt.

    Davies was substituted after three minutes of Saturday's 5-0 Bundesliga victory at the Allianz Arena after rolling his ankle.

    Head coach Hansi Flick said the 19-year-old has torn ligaments and is not expected to return until at least early December.

    "He sustained a ligament injury. One ligament is fully torn, another is partially torn. We reckon he'll be sidelined for six to eight weeks," Flick told reporters.

    "It hurts when a player of this quality is ruled out."

    Davies is likely to miss most of Bayern's remaining matches in 2020, including their five remaining Champions League group games and the Klassiker with Borussia Dortmund on November 7.

    The champions' win over Frankfurt, in which Robert Lewandowski scored a hat-trick before further goals from Leroy Sane and Jamal Musiala, moved them to within a point of league leaders RB Leipzig after five games.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.