2. Chelsea 1-3 Manchester City
Chelsea picked up a point from Aston Villa in a marginally better performance, albeit with a team missing key players due to being rested. The Blues were now with only four points from their last available 15. A reaction was needed against Manchester City, and there was a mild boost due to the fact that the game would be at Stamford Bridge. Man City had six players out of contention due to COVID-19. The Citizens had three known starters out of their line-up, including first choice goalkeeper, Ederson.
Chelsea once again was played off the park in embarrassing fashion. The game was over by halftime. Man City just decided to play with its food in the second half. The game proved to be another landmark in Lampard’s reign. This is mainly because Lampard had already played City twice in his tenure, and you’d have expected him to have learnt that playing a high line against City—especially with an inconsistent press like the Blues’—is suicidal. Yet, the former midfielder still decided to go with a game plan that had not worked for him, or any of his predecessors. The silliness of this game plan was evident in the amount of clear cut chances Man City created (six), compared to the home team (one).
In this game, Chelsea did not look lacking in effort, which was perhaps a bigger worry because it seemed like the Blues brought all they had, but were still so shockingly outmatched by a COVID-ravaged City team. It looked like the players lacked tactical instructions and ideas. Lampard chose to play a high line, knowing that it’s near impossible to beat City using a high line, and he did this in a game Chelsea really couldn’t afford to lose.