EPL

Premier League Review: Lampard still waiting for first win, Sheffield United shine at home

By Sports Desk August 18, 2019

Chelsea were denied a first win under Frank Lampard after Leicester City fought back to draw 1-1 on Sunday, while Sheffield United recorded a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace.

Wilfred Ndidi cancelled out Mason Mount's early opener at Stamford Bridge to leave Chelsea with a solitary point in the early stages of Lampard's regime.

Leicester looked the side more likely to win the game after equalising in the 67th minute, but a couple of good chances went begging and they had to settle for a second successive draw.

Like Chelsea, Palace have also made a slow start to the new campaign after going down to a John Lundstram goal at Bramall Lane in the early kick-off - the Blades securing their first top-flight win in more than 12 years.


REDEMPTION FOR NDIDI 

Lampard's first taste of Premier League management ended in a heavy 4-0 loss to Manchester United last weekend, followed up by a penalty shoot-out defeat to Liverpool in the UEFA Super Cup, and his home bow also ended in disappointment.

Chelsea got off to a positive start as Mount was rewarded for pressuring Ndidi high up the field, the English youngster taking the ball away from his opponent and powering a shot past Kasper Schmeichel for his first goal in Chelsea colours.

But Ndidi went on to atone for his error by converting the impressive James Maddison's corner, heading his team level.

Perhaps tired following their midweek exertions in Istanbul, Lampard's side were left holding on in the final quarter of the match, Maddison firing over from a good position and Jamie Vardy also passing up a presentable opportunity.


LUNDSTRAM FIRES SHEFFIELD UNITED PAST PALACE

Promoted Sheffield United marked their first Premier League game at Bramall Lane since 2007 with all three points thanks to Lundstrum's 47th-minute strike.

The 25-year-old fired home from 10 yards after Luke Freeman had been denied by Vicente Guaita, in the process joining the list of players to have scored in the top four divisions in England.

Despite having Wilfried Zaha in their starting XI, Palace struggled for attacking inspiration following last week's stalemate with Everton.

United, by comparison, are seventh in the early standings after adding to the point they claimed at Bournemouth.

Related items

  • Raheem's on fire! Stones lauds Man City star Sterling's mentality Raheem's on fire! Stones lauds Man City star Sterling's mentality

    Raheem Sterling's mentality is behind his prolific run of form for club and country, according to John Stones.

    Manchester City winger Sterling netted a quickfire 11-minuite hat-trick after half-time on Tuesday as Pep Guardiola's side demolished Atalanta 5-1 in the Champions League.

    Sterling also supplied the cross for Sergio Aguero's 34th-minute equaliser and won the penalty from which the Argentina striker put City in front.

    Of his five career hat-tricks, Sterling has now claimed four match balls in 2019, including a brilliant treble in England's 5-0 Euro 2020 qualification win over the Czech Republic at Wembley in March.

    "He's been on fire. He's got that mentality, he wants more," Stones said, before noting the one-on-one opportunity Sterling missed after completing his Atalanta hat-trick would probably disappoint the 24-year-old Ballon d'Or nominee. 

    "He showed it [against Atalanta]. He kept trying, he might be disappointed because he could have scored four, but I think he should be very proud for scoring a hat-trick in the Champions League.

    "I'm very happy for him and he helped us to take a step closer to the next round."

    Sterling has 16 goals in 17 appearances for City and England this term – a flying start to the campaign that contrasts sharply with a 2019-20 yet to get off the ground for Stones.

    The former Everton centre-back has been laid low for a month at a time following a pair of thigh injuries and only featured as a substitute against Atalanta and Crystal Palace last weekend despite midfielders Fernandinho and Rodri forming a makeshift centre-back pairing.

    "Obviously, it's always frustrating going through injuries," he said.

    "To me, it was a bit of a setback. Now I'm back, I feel strong and healthy again. Hopefully I can stay fit and help to fight for every competition."

    Stones was introduced on Tuesday after Rodri pulled up with a hamstring injury, while his fellow centre-back Aymeric Laporte is recuperating from knee surgery alongside winger Leroy Sane.

    City are waiting to find out the severity of another knee problem sustained by left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko, although Stones was at least able to line up alongside Nicolas Otamendi during the closing stages in midweek – the Argentina defender having shaken off a minor back complaint.

    "It's been frustrating for all of us, for the manager, for the team, all the injuries we have got," said the 25-year-old.

    "It's been a difficult time for us, but the guys have made a step up. They have done jobs for the team that they are not used to, so I give all the credit to them.

    "Now, we [Stones and Otamendi] are back, we need to try to stay fit and healthy to help the team to fight for all the competitions."

  • Batshuayi's winner reward for patience, says elated Chelsea boss Lampard Batshuayi's winner reward for patience, says elated Chelsea boss Lampard

    Frank Lampard believes Michy Batshuayi's match-winning moment in Chelsea's 1-0 triumph at Ajax was just reward for the patience he has shown this season.

    The Belgium striker hammered home from fellow substitute Christian Pulisic's assist with four minutes remaining at Johan Cruijff ArenA to snatch a potentially priceless three points in Champions League Group H.

    Batshuayi replaced Lampard's first-choice striker Tammy Abraham, who had been mainly subdued, and had already missed a great chance before thumping in Chelsea's winner.

    "The fact Christian Pulisic comes on in the last two games and gets two assists, changes games, I thought his performance was outstanding for 25 minutes or whatever it was," Lampard told BT Sport. 

    "And Michy, the great thing about the strikers I've got is that, even though Tammy has been scoring for me, the other two stayed patient, worked hard, supported the group and they've got talent.

    "So, it was a choice to bring Michy on because of how mobile he can be and he's waited for his moment and he fully deserved his moment there."

    Chelsea have now won consecutive away Champions League matches for the first time since 2013 and sit level with Ajax on six points after three matches.

    There were a couple of near misses for the Blues, with Quincy Promes having a goal ruled out for a narrow offside call and Edson Alvarez seeing a header hit the post.

    "It was our mistake [that led to Ajax's offside goal] and that's why the Champions League is what it is, that's why it's the ultimate because, in a tiny second, if you switch off, it can go against you," Lampard added. 

    "But we deserved our luck, I think. I'm a big believer in that, in how you prepare what you're doing with the input out there, you deserve that little break. 

    "We haven't had many VAR breaks this season anyway so I suppose it might have been coming, you make your own luck on that one and the one that hits the post. 

    "But I thought, for such a creative side that they are, we didn't have Kepa [Arrizabalaga] under many problems and we did have a lot of moments for us in the box where, had we been better, we could have scored more."

    Batshuayi was delighted with his strike but was keen for the focus to be on the team effort.

    "I think all the team worked hard," he said. "It's good to win, to get three points. I know [I scored the winner] but the important thing is the three points tonight."

  • Solskjaer dismisses Kane links as Van der Sar distances himself from Man United role Solskjaer dismisses Kane links as Van der Sar distances himself from Man United role

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hailed Manchester United's striking options following Roy Keane's suggestion the club should sign Harry Kane, while former team-mate Edwin van der Sar has distanced himself from the vacant director of football role.

    Following United's 1-1 draw with Liverpool on Sunday, ex-captain Keane – working as a pundit for Sky Sports – stated United should purchase England forward Kane from Tottenham to solve their issues up front.

    Marcus Rashford scored in the stalemate at Old Trafford, taking his tally of league goals for the season to four, but Solskjaer's options up front have been diminished by Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez leaving for Inter, while Anthony Martial is only just returning from injury.

    Solskjaer insists he is satisfied with his current pool of strikers, although acknowledged having a player of Kane's quality would always be a bonus.

    "Roy's quite straightforward, isn't he," Solskjaer told a news conference when asked about his former team-mate's comments ahead of United's Europa League meeting with Partizan Belgrade.

    "For us it's [about] working hard. Getting Anthony back is going to be a massive boost for us and I'm sure, when he comes back, that'll help Marcus as well. 

    "With the forwards we've got and the pace, I'm looking forward to the next few weeks.

    "There aren't many [Robert] Lewandowskis and Harry Kanes - they're like [Alan] Shearer, [Ruud] Van Nistelrooy, fantastic players.

    "Ours are different types of players but I like someone who can finish half a chance and Harry does that, but Harry's a Tottenham player."

    With United's transfer dealings having come under scrutiny in previous seasons, the club are reportedly still in search of a director of football.

    One name consistently linked with taking up the position has been former United goalkeeper Van der Sar, who has enjoyed success as Ajax's chief executive officer. 

    However, Van der Sar says he is not considering leaving the Eredivisie champions at the moment, telling BT Sport: "I've said before, I want to make this a success at Ajax.

    "As a player, you always needed to build up qualities and your strengths. Now I'm trying it out and experiencing a lot of different things here, I've still some unfinished business here.

    "If we could have taken it one step further last year [getting to the Champions League final], it could have been a step already, but at the moment I'm concentrating on Ajax."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.