EPL

Chelsea 2-2 Sheffield United: Zouma own goal denies Lampard first home win

By Sports Desk August 31, 2019

Frank Lampard was denied his first home win as Chelsea manager as Kurt Zouma's 89th-minute own goal enabled Sheffield United to complete an unexpected comeback and claim a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea had looked in a comfortable position on Saturday when striker Tammy Abraham scored twice before half-time.

However, Callum Robinson pulled a goal back for United with a close-range finish in the first minute of the second period.

French forward Lys Mousset, a 79th-minute substitute, then played a key role in earning the Blades a surprise point when he connected with a Robinson cross and saw the ball deflect in off Zouma's shin.

Abraham opened the scoring as Chelsea made their superiority in the early stages of the game count.

United goalkeeper Dean Henderson, under pressure from Christian Pulisic, fumbled Abraham’s initial header from Cesar Azpilicueta’s high floating cross. Abraham was the quickest to react and from just outside the six-yard box he hooked the ball into the net on the half volley.

The Blades missed a great chance to equalise when Robinson's diving header from Chris Basham's cross went wide and Chelsea made them pay just before half-time as Abraham struck again.

Blades defenders Jack O'Connell and John Egan collided with each other as they challenged for the same ball, which allowed Abraham to break clear and crisply strike the ball past Henderson.

Robinson made up for his earlier miss when he pulled one back for the Blades almost immediately after the restart.

Enda Stevens got past Azpilicueta and delivered a teasing low cross into the box, which Robinson steered past Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Robinson then turned provider when his low cross was met by Mousset, who saw his effort go into the net off Zouma to deny Chelsea victory.

 

What it means: Chelsea unable to generate momentum

A 4-0 defeat to Manchester United on the opening day of the season was a nightmare start to Lampard's tenure as Chelsea manager.

With only two draws and a victory since then, things are not looking that much rosier.

Chelsea will face much sterner tests than Chris Wilder's newly-promoted side but they were unable to secure a first win on home soil and generate some positive momentum for Lampard in their battle to secure a top-four spot.

United can be proud of a disciplined performance and Wilder would no doubt have settled for five points from their first four games. 

Abraham looking lethal

Loan spells at Bristol City, Swansea City and Aston Villa in the past few seasons have helped Abraham smooth out the rough edges and he now looks a polished striker.

Lampard might have been tempted to sign a centre forward, had Chelsea not been hit by a transfer ban, which would have most likely restricted Abraham's opportunities.

However, if the 21-year-old can maintain this kind of form, he looks to have saved the Chelsea boss a fortune. 

The departure of Eden Hazard undoubtedly left a large void at Stamford Bridge, but Abraham showed he can go some way to filling the Belgian's boots.

Robinson catches the eye

Robinson missed a good chance towards the end of the first half and the Blades striker could easily have sulked and bemoaned his luck.

Instead, he quickly put the miss behind him as he chased, harried and continued to try to sniff out goalscoring chances.

His quick-wittedness was rewarded a minute after the break as he equalised to give United a foothold in the game when perhaps the game might have become a formality for Chelsea.

The 24-year-old former Preston forward might not be the most prolific goalscorer but will get his fair share if he continues to display such positive intent.

What's next?

After the international break, Sheffield United host Southampton at Bramall Lane on September 14. 

Chelsea are in league action on the same day with a difficult away trip to Wolves. Three days later they welcome Spanish side Valencia to Stamford Bridge in their opening Champions League fixture.

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