Frank Lampard said he was “angry” after Chelsea fell to a 3-1 defeat to Arsenal, urging his players to “take responsibility”.
Chelsea have now lost three away games in a row in the Premier League. It is their worst run of form on the road in almost two years, since they lost four successive away games between January and February 2019.
Extending their struggles on their travels by losing to their rivals made it a bitter evening for Chelsea, who went into the game as favourites.
The Blues would have gone second with a win, but instead remain outside the top four.
Lampard admits the performance was not of the quality required. And while he takes some responsibility himself, he also told his players they must accept their share of the blame for not performing at their maximum level.
“It wasn’t good enough,” he told Sky Sports. “We fought in the second half but in the first half we gave ourselves too much to do.
“The players who came on added speed, energy and intensity.
“I’ll take responsibility on the outside but the players also have to take responsibility.
“The message was clear – Arsenal are a dangerous team. When you go out and play 60 or 70 per cent then you’re not going to win any games.
“I am angry because I want us to win games. It was an opportunity to go second. You get what you deserve.”
Chelsea still a work in progress
There are high expectations at Stamford Bridge this season after Chelsea backed Lampard heavily in the transfer market in the summer.
The changes they made to their squad seemed to be having the desired effect earlier in the season. They were on a 17-game unbeaten run (except for a penalty shootout defeat to Tottenham in the EFL Cup) until two weeks ago.
Since then, they have lost three games out of their last four – which has raised questions about their title credentials.
Lampard believes their form proves they still have some way to go to reach the level of the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City.
“The teams that win, win, win relentlessly weren’t winning two or three years ago,” he told BBC Sport. “We are not there yet, that’s clear.
“I felt it when we are on our long unbeaten run and I feel it now. We got a lot wrong today.
“In the second half we showed some urgency but it was too late. The first half we gave ourselves too much to do, we were very poor.
“You can’t lack energy and desire in the Premier League and we did.
“You can prepare as well as you want but if you turn up like that, that’s another thing. It’s in the mind.
“If you perform below par things go against you like the Saka goal. That’s life. On another day we could have scored the penalty and come back but it’s not a day for us.”