Lampard debunks ‘ridiculous’ Chelsea title talk; refuses to blame Mendy

Frank Lampard refused to single out Edouard Mendy for blame after Chelsea suffered their first defeat in 18 games.

Chelsea lost 1-0 at Everton after Mendy gave away a penalty in the first half, which Gylfi Sigurdsson converted.

It brought an end to a run that had seen Chelsea avoid defeat since September. They missed the chance to go top of the table as a result.

After the game, Lampard admitted that his side did not start well enough to get in the game.

“Not our best performance,” he said. “First 20 minutes were key for me, I knew it was coming, longer balls and second balls for a team needing a win.

“When you go 1-0 down, it absolutely suits their gameplan. We hit the post twice but for our levels and what we have been recently, not good enough.

“I would not say energy or desire wasn’t there, we were just off it. The lads are gutted because we were on a good run.

“If they are going to make it difficult for you, don’t concede from a long ball, second ball situation. We have been getting down the sides, the quality of crosses has been good and it wasn’t today. Credit to Everton.

“When teams play long with one of the best strikers in the league, you have to suffer the moments and get through. Disappointed we did not have enough to unlock the door.”

Mendy not solely at fault

Mendy came under the spotlight for his role in the only goal of the game, but Lampard insists the goalkeeper has been too good overall since his arrival to be overly criticised for one error.

“I don’t think Eduoard Mendy was just culpable but he has been outstanding so far so I will take that.”

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Chelsea have been tipped to contend for the Premier League title this season, but they will have to change results like this to do so.

Lampard insists there is a long way to go before they can think about being league winners.

“It is a long season and these people talking about us winning the league, best squad, it is ridiculous. You have to look at the teams winning it last three or four years; they have wingers, strikers scoring 30, 40 goals and league, Champions League winners.

“Coming here to this place, they were up for a result and we did not pass the test. We will in the future.”

READ MORE: Ancelotti explains why Everton are still a level below Chelsea despite win