EPL

Lampard hits back at Mourinho over Chelsea selection criticism

By Sports Desk August 11, 2019

Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard hit back at Jose Mourinho after criticism of his team selection for the 4-0 loss to Manchester United.

Lampard's first competitive game at the helm of the Premier League club ended in a comprehensive loss at Old Trafford, where Marcus Rashford scored a brace to go with goals from Anthony Martial and Daniel James on Sunday.

Working for Sky Sports, former Chelsea boss Mourinho criticised Lampard's selection, saying more experienced players like N'Golo Kante, Marcos Alonso and Olivier Giroud should have started, while questioning the performances of Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Andreas Christensen.

Lampard seemed surprised by Mourinho's comments, saying injuries had an impact on selection in his side's season opener.

"He didn't like the performance of Mason Mount? Is that what he said? Did he? Wow," he told a news conference.

"Well, I can't drag players out of the medical room to play if they are experienced or not, so these are the players that played in a game that we were clearly the better team for 45-60 minutes.

"What was evident that we made individual errors that led to four goals out of their five shots. So there's the harsh reality for us.

"I don't have to be too concerned about what anyone else says, pundit-wise or anyone, they have to speak. At the same time, what's clear is the squad is what we've got and I believe in it.

"If we go in at half-time 2-1 or 3-1 up, as we probably should have done if we were more clinical and maybe had a stroke of luck here and there, the game would've been completely different."

Giroud and Kante were both introduced off the bench, while Christian Pulisic also came on for his Premier League debut in the second half.

Lampard explained his decision not to start the United States international, who arrived in the close season after being signed from Borussia Dortmund in January for a reported £58million (€62.3m).

"Christian Pulisic is 20 years old. He will be a fantastic player for the club. He has got great ability. You saw little moments with his acceleration on the ball," he said.

"But I have also got other options in midfield and in those areas, and I don't want to stick Christian straight into the fire without trying to help him along the way. It was one of those games where I felt it was better to start with Ross [Barkley] and Mason, who have been very strong in pre-season, and bring Christian on.

"If the game had carried on at 1-0, or we were back in the game as we should have been, he would have been a great injection. In the end it was difficult for him because the game went quickly away from us."

Related items

  • Klopp: Liverpool success helps and hinders with transfers Klopp: Liverpool success helps and hinders with transfers

    Jurgen Klopp admitted success helped Champions League titleholders Liverpool attract players, but it also made completing signings harder.

    While they hold a 19-point lead atop the Premier League, Liverpool have been linked with moves for numerous players, including RB Leipzig star Timo Werner.

    Klopp is unfazed by suggestions his team are the world's best, but said it could help with signings.

    "It's easier if players see you as that. If they see you are successful, it's easier to get into talks with players," he told UK newspapers.

    "But on the other side, it's more difficult the better your team is because they ask questions like, 'where and when would I play?'

    "We need players who want to be part of this, who want to fight for their spot, who want to make the next step together with us, who want to develop and improve so that's it.

    "We have these players and whoever wants to join us needs to have exactly this kind of attitude."

    Liverpool are still unbeaten in the Premier League ahead of hosting West Ham at Anfield on Monday.

    Klopp said finding the right players to add to his side, who were Champions League winners last season, was difficult.

    "The age group of the team is good in the moment. In two or three years, maybe it'll be different but for the moment, it's good," he said.

    "It depends on what you want. Is it a good age for selling? Probably not. But is it a good age for performing? Yes.

    "So there are a lot of things we have to think about. It's an interesting period."

  • Joao Felix will fulfil potential if he listens to Simeone & Atletico team-mates – Koke Joao Felix will fulfil potential if he listens to Simeone & Atletico team-mates – Koke

    Atletico Madrid captain Koke said Joao Felix can fulfil his enormous potential if he listens to Diego Simeone and his team-mates after making a goalscoring return from injury.

    Joao Felix had been sidelined since January due to a muscle injury but Atletico's record signing came off the bench and scored in Sunday's 3-1 LaLiga victory over Villarreal.

    The 20-year-old attacker arrived from Benfica in a €126million deal at the start of the season and has scored five goals across all competitions.

    "Everyone can see what is expected of Joao, he's a young boy and he has lots of room for improvement," Koke said post-match.

    "Many great players have had to adapt to Atletico and it's not easy, he's young.

    "If he listens to the boss and his team-mates, he will be the player that everyone wants to see.

    "He's not been lucky with injuries, but I'm sure that, in the future, we'll see the Joao we want to see."

    Atletico came from behind in the Spanish capital, where Simeone's side trailed to Paco Alcacer's 16th-minute opener at Wanda Metropolitano.

    Angel Correa, Koke and Joao Felix led the comeback as Atletico moved up to third in LaLiga, behind leaders Barcelona and city rivals Real Madrid.

    "Speaking about Koke, our captain, our talisman and one of our longest-serving players [with] Saul [Niguez], [Jose] Gimenez, Thomas [Partey]," Simeone said.

    "He knows what we're looking for, a tactical condition that lots of players don't have and a pass that seems slow but he knows where he is.

    "He can play on the right, in the middle. He and Saul are the ones who can play in any position."

    Simeone paired Correa with Alvaro Morata up front and the Atletico head coach added: "The two worked very well, they have lots of strength in their feet to go out and press people. Morata did a very good job and Correa is in fantastic form. We're very happy with the competition for places.

    "The return of [Kieran] Trippier, Joao Felix... [Yannick] Carrasco is getting better, [Sime Vrsaljko] is very strong, Vitolo had a great game and the substitutes brought fresh legs."

  • Former Juve & Man City forward Bojinov sent off before debut Former Juve & Man City forward Bojinov sent off before debut

    Former Juventus and Manchester City forward Valeri Bojinov was sent off before he could make his debut for Serie B outfit Pescara.

    Bojinov joined Pescara as a free agent earlier this month, having been without a club since leaving Bulgarian side Botev Vratsa.

    The 34-year-old's start to life at Pescara, however, has not gone according to plan after he was sent off as a substitute on Sunday.

    Bojinov – sitting on the bench – was shown a red card for dissent in the 26th minute during Pescara's 4-1 loss at Crotone.

    The 43-time Bulgaria international moved to Juve on loan in 2006-07 after their relegation to Serie B following the infamous match-fixing scandal.

    Bojinov scored seven goals across all competitions as Juve earned promotion before he was signed by Premier League outfit City in August 2007.

    But Bojinov failed to impress and his career has not kicked on, with stints at Parma, Sporting CP, Lecce, Verona, Vicenza, Levski Sofia, Ternana, Partizan, Meizhou Hakka, Lausanne and Rijeka among the clubs making up his CV so far.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.