Frank Lampard admits Chelsea were ‘lucky’ Jorginho wasn’t sent off against Arsenal

Jorginho swerved a second booking despite pulling back Matteo Guendouzi before scoring the equaliser

Nick Purewal
Sunday 29 December 2019 18:47
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Frank Lampard admitted Jorginho could easily have been sent off before tapping in the goal that sparked Chelsea’s 2-1 Premier League win at Arsenal.

Italy midfielder Jorginho pounced on Bernd Leno’s goalkeeping calamity to tap into the empty net and send Chelsea en route to a turnaround victory at the Emirates Stadium.

Tammy Abraham’s 12th league goal of the term sealed the Blues’ win, to help boss Lampard’s men avoid a sixth loss in eight matches.

Former Blues midfielder Lampard was forced to admit Chelsea rode their luck, however, with Jorginho swerving a second booking despite pulling back Matteo Guendouzi.

“It certainly could have been a second yellow,” said Lampard. “In a London derby a lot of challenges like that. So we might have struck a bit of luck with that, but I don’t think it was that clear cut. Jorginho was the big catalyst for the change, winning second balls, showing that character.”

Arsenal tore into a disorganised Chelsea from the off, with an unmarked Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang nodding home from a corner to hand the hosts a deserved lead.

Blues boss Lampard ditched the 3-4-3 formation just past the half-hour though, withdrawing the struggling Emerson Palmieri and switching to 4-3-3.

The decision eventually turned the game, with Jorginho proving pivotal to that reversal of fortunes.

Lampard insisted it was a change in mentality rather than tactics that helped Chelsea turn the tables on the Gunners however, praising his players for eventually finding their bite.

“No I don’t think we got it wrong tactically at the start,” said Lampard. “It wasn’t so much the tactics, it was the spirit and the fight of the team. They were quicker, and we were lethargic initially.

“Sometimes it has to be a gesture with a change. And then after the changes we got better. It wasn’t so much the three at the back, but then again, Mikel Arteta isn’t silly: they found a way to pin our five back, and so I had to change.”

Explaining his players exchanged “aggressive” words at half-time, Lampard continued: “I like that and they should be loud, because you don’t want it to be quiet and for the players to just get on with it.

“I was pretty firm and said my piece. You can’t come to Arsenal and have nothing about you. After I’d spoken the lads started talking and it was a bit aggressive, which was a good thing.

“And the reaction was everything I wanted. We’ve been rightly questioned recently. We were quiet in the dressing room after the Everton defeat and I didn’t like it. And in the home games we’ve been lacking something.

“It’s not a turning point, but we showed we can have a right go and win a game in a different way.”

New Arsenal boss Arteta believes Jorginho should have been dismissed for a second yellow card but insisted the Gunners only have themselves to blame for defeat.

Arsenal have now lost four consecutive home matches in all competitions for the first time in 60 years.

Asked whether Jorginho should have been sent off, Arteta said: “I think that’s up to the referee but for me it’s very clear. That’s it. I blame my team (for defeat). We are responsible for everything we did wrong on that football pitch.

“The decisions we didn’t get right, obviously. The other things we cannot control or change them now.”

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