Chelsea 2 Hull 0: Blues might have won but allowing Frank Lampard to leave continues to cost Jose Mourinho

COMMENT: Lampard on target as City won 1-0 at Leicester

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The Independent Online

Chelsea's decision to allow Frank Lampard to leave the club raised more than a few eyebrows in the summer, but is providing a real cause for concern for their fans now.

It is not just because he is banging in the goals on a regular basis for their main title rivals Manchester City on a regular basis, although that is bad enough.

The 36-year-old has already come back to haunt his former club by scoring a crucial late equaliser against them in September.

He took his tally to six in just 14 appearances for his new club, who he controversially joined on loan from New York City, to secure another three points today at Leicester.

However, it is days like this, where Chelsea put in their worst performance of the season at Stamford Bridge, that his skills are also being missed among the royal blues.

Chelsea were without their inspirational creator and arguably Lampard's direct replacement Cesc Fabregas through suspension.

Instead of being able to call upon the former England international to fill the void though, manager Jose Mourinho fielded John Obi Mikel.

He has been a bit of a marmite character among the fanbase since he joined in 2006, although the majority appear to view him in a negative light.

Hull were always going to provide stubborn resistance, despite their run of eight games without a win and it exposed Mikel's limitations.

Poor in possession and lacking much goal threat, Chelsea laboured with him rather than Fabregas or Lampard in the middle of the park.

The Nigeria international may have scored against Sporting Lisbon in midweek, but it should be noted that he has scored less goals in over eight years (five) than Lampard has in four months at the Etihad.

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Frank Lampard scored the only goal of the game at the King Power Stadium

In the end Chelsea were fortunate to maintain their 100 per cent record at home. A fine move in the seventh minute led to Eden Hazard putting them in front, yet the rest of the half was lacking in quality.

Hull grew in confidence and Mourinho was seen muttering in disgust to his aides on the bench.

No-one was more infuriated though than counterpart Steve Bruce. Referee Chris Foy has had some controversial run-ins with Chelsea in the past - this afternoon he was their friend.

Gary Cahill was very lucky not to be sent off. Firstly he appeared to go over the top of the ball on a reckless tackle on Sone Aluko and was only shown a yellow.

If Hull thought he was fortunate to get away with that incident, they were even more incensed when he appeared to dive in the penalty area after the break and escaped a second card.

The fact Willian had been reprimanded for doing the same thing with a yellow in the first half exposed Foy's lack of consistency. Then to add to the visitor's angst, Diego Costa was punished for simulation shortly after Cahill's moment of madness.

Hull's players were clearly losing their cool and Tom Huddlestone took it out on Filipe Luis and was rightly red carded for an ugly stamp.

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Chelsea eventually managed to overcome Hull

With more space to exploit against 10 men, Hazard set up Costa to give Chelsea a flattering lead.

It was a moment greeted with relief. Not only did it secure the three points, it ended the striker's run of four games without a goal.

There was a different reaction eight minutes time when Mikel was substituted for Ramires and the decision was met with a loud cheer. One suspected it was more to do with the pleasure of seeing the man coming off than who was coming on.

News of Lampard's contribution in the midlands just rubbed salt into the wounds on a very underwhelming outing for the League leaders.

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