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Lampard says big-spending Chelsea 'will improve' – and they will have to, fast, after latest defensive horror show at West Brom

Lampard says big-spending Chelsea 'will improve' – and they will have to, fast, after latest defensive horror show at West Brom
Despite splashing out more than £200 million on new recruits this summer, it was left to academy graduates Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odoi to get Chelsea out of jail against West Brom in the Premier League.

It took a stoppage-time equalizer from Abraham to save the blushes of Chelsea’s megastars after they were held to a thrilling 3-3 draw at newly promoted West Bromwich Albion.

Chelsea had found themselves 3-0 down at half-time thanks a first-half defensive horror show including a mistake from Thiago Silva, the Brazilian summer arrival who was named captain on his Blues debut. 

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Chelsea fought back in the second half, capped by Abraham's stoppage-time equalizer, but once again the West London outfit were guilty of the same old defensive failings against Albion, a side many pundits have tipped for an immediate return to the Sky Bet Championship.

Lampard will be under increasing pressure after his expensively assembled team struggled for the second game running, having been well beaten by Premier League champions Liverpool last weekend.

Lampard said: “It was clear mistakes [that cost us]. You can have as many meetings as you want but with those mistakes you give yourself a mountain to climb. [We lacked] a bit of urgency in the team.

“It is two points lost at the end of the day - and that's no disrespect to West Brom. You come here and you know the transition and any mistakes would be something they would jump on - that and set pieces. You can't legislate for the mistakes that there were today.”

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Chelsea found themselves trailing 3-0 before the half-hour mark after Callum Robinson opened the scoring with an impressive finish past goalkeeper Willy Caballero, who started in place of dropped £71 million goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Robinson doubled Albion’s advantage before Kyle Bartley left Frank Lampard’s side looking shell-shocked with a close-range finish.

Mount gave Chelsea hope with a 20-yard strike to reduce the deficit and Hudson-Odoi continued the second-half comeback with a smart finish to set up an exciting finale.

With time running out, Abraham, starting a top-flight game for the first time this season, tapped home to ensure Chelsea did not leave The Hawthorns empty handed.

Lampard added: “We created two or three great chances in the first half. I felt we would create more, the only other problem at 3-0 was West Brom were going to protect their lead more. It is a big lesson for us.

"We will get a lot better, we're still finding our way with new players and a lack of pre-season. Today is part of the process of getting better.

"We have two big games coming up against Tottenham and Crystal Palace. I expect to see an improvement in our performances.”

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One fan mockingly drew comparisons between Lampard and England coach Gareth Southgate after the game, saying both were lacking in tactical acumen.

“Here we go again Frank Lampard with his reshaping has done Southgate again ‘no tactics, no game plan, just vibes’. Cheers Southgate,” he tweeted.

Another supporter tweeted: “Chelsea’s Academy players come to the rescue.”