Lampard on the attack over Chelsea's sloppy defending
Barça will seize on errors, says midfielder as tie with Europe's form side looms
Thursday 16 April 2009
As Chelsea recovered yesterday from their night of tension and drama that ultimately turn to joy at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday, Frank Lampard sifted through the evidence and was honest enough to admit that all was not well with the club.
Guus Hiddink's side drew 4-4 with Liverpool in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final and won 7-5 on aggregate but not without putting themselves through an evening of contrasting emotions while conceding four goals.
That lax defence is proving to be a worry for Lampard, the Chelsea midfielder who scored two of his team's goals. "We have to look back at the mistakes we make as a group in conceding goals," he said. "We have to be strong and we need to tighten up defensively."
In the semi-finals, Chelsea will face Barcelona. The Spanish league leaders hammered Bayern Munich 4-0 in the first match of its two-leg quarter-final series and then played out a 1-1 draw in the second to advance. With Lionel Messi playing well both in the Champions League and in La Liga, and Thierry Henry getting back to his best, Barcelona are favourites to win their third European Cup.
"Barcelona are the form team in Europe, if not the world. They have been that way all season," Lampard said. "If we are going to beat them, we need to play at the level we achieved in the first leg against Liverpool when we won 3-1. We need that and more against Barcelona to win."
Lampard's team-mate, the central defender Ricardo Carvalho agreed with Lampard's assessment. "We have conceded too many goals," he said. "You can watch to learn and improve from mistakes but it will not be a pleasure to watch."
The defenders were not the only ones struggling, however, and goalkeeper Petr Cech took some of the blame after misjudging a 19th-minute free-kick from Fabio Aurelio that went into his net. "I hold my hand up for the first goal. I was caught too easily," said Cech, who has now conceded seven goals in two games and next faces Arsenal in the FA Cup semi-finals on Saturday. "I slipped a little bit but that's not an excuse – it's a goal I shouldn't have conceded."
Cech had other moments of hesitancy, too. "I have never been involved in such a game and I hope I am not going to be again," Cech said. "It's the first time in my Chelsea career that I have conceded so many goals in two consecutive games, and the first time I have made mistakes in both of them."
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food