Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has hailed his players for securing a point against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Saturday. He added that his side were the underdogs at the start of the season because no one gave them a top-four chance.
German international Antonio Rudiger’s brace secured a point for the Blues in their 2-2 draw against the Foxes. Lampard’s side took the lead two minutes after half-time through Rudiger. Eight minutes later, Leicester equalised as Harvey Barnes’ deflected effort found the back of the net before Ben Chilwell capitalised on an error from Willy Caballero, who was in goal ahead Kepa Arrizabalaga to lead 2-1.
In the 71st minute, Rudiger looped a header over Kasper Schmeichel to bring Chelsea level. But there was still time for Barnes to spurn a golden opportunity to give Leicester all three points, sending the ball wide of the far post with the goal at his mercy.
Lampard was left incensed on the touchline after VAR decided against giving the Blues a penalty for a foul on Abraham by Caglar Soyuncu. Leicester wasted two golden chances to restore their advantage, with Evans missing the target with a free header and Barnes somehow dragging wide with only Caballero to beat.
The Chelsea boss sent on Willian and Mateo Kovacic in search of a winner, with Ross Barkley replacing Abraham late on – meaning Michy Batshuayi was left on the bench as Chelsea operated with a false nine. But the chances dried up towards the final stages as the two top-four challengers settled for a point after a thrilling second half.
Speaking after the match, Lampard said: “I thought it was an even game. I felt we were the better team in the first half. Maybe not in terms of chances, we gifted them opportunities, but in terms of our pressing and how we moved the ball at times. We had some gilt-edged chances ourselves. In the second half, we weren’t so fluid, they had clear chances on goal, so I thought it was pretty even.“
Reacting to Rudiger’s goals and performance, Lampard said: “We want to score more goals from set pieces, we work on them a lot and to get two through Toni was great particularly in games like this because you know you’re up against top quality opposition.
“Yeah he was, a lot of them were [good], Christensen as well, he was struggling a fever but his first half performance was really good. I was pleased with him.”
When asked about Caballero’s display after dropping the Argentine for first-choice goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, the Blues manager said: “I thought his performance was pretty good because he made some good saves, he was comfortable with his feet.
“I was right behind the Barnes goal and it took a deflection and was pretty much in. There wasn’t much he could do for either goal.”