Defeat to Manchester United left Chelsea pining for Eden Hazard and they must now beat Leicester City in order to keep the pressure off Frank Lampard, according to former midfielder Emmanuel Petit.
The Blues are without a win in their first two competitive games under Lampard, with the new campaign kicking off with a 4-0 rout at the hands of Man Utd.
Chelsea’s start under Lampard: Five things to know…
- Chelsea are embarking on their first campaign with Frank Lampard at the helm.
- The Blues legend replaced Maurizio Sarri in the summer.
- Chelsea lost their first Premier League game 4-0 against Manchester United.
- They then missed out on the Uefa Super Cup, losing to Liverpool on penalties.
- And Emmanuel Petit believes Chelsea must beat Leicester City on Sunday to keep the pressure off.
Chelsea then put in an improved performance in the Uefa Super Cup against Liverpool but would ultimately lose 5-4 on penalties following a 2-2 draw after extra-time.
Next up for the Blues is Lampard’s first game in charge at Stamford Bridge, with Leicester the opponents for his much-anticipated homecoming.
But Petit believes Chelsea have to win on Sunday to stop people questioning his credentials for the job.
“The game against Leicester on Sunday is must-win for Lampard,” he told Paddy Power.
“They have to win it, it’s so important for the players and their confidence but also for Lampard’s confidence too.”
Petit went on to suggest their heavy defeat to United at Old Trafford highlighted even further the void that has been left by Hazard’s departure to Real Madrid, but a win this weekend could breed new confidence.
He added: “After United I believe the players were thinking about what a big loss Eden Hazard is, and how they would compete without replacing him.
“But after the Super Cup and a win against Leicester can turn that confidence around, they have a quality team with quality players and Lampard is using youth too which is good to see.
“Failure to beat Leicester will mean people will start asking questions of Lampard, it will put much more pressure on him and on the players and questions will be on the table about whether Lampard is right for the job.
“That in turn puts more stress in the dressing room and more trouble for the manager.”
Chelsea have not started a season with back-to-back league defeats since the 1973/74 campaign, when they fell to three losses in a row.
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Lampard should be proud of his team
Despite implying the pressure would be on for Lampard if Chelsea fail to beat Leicester, Petit did praise his former team-mate for the improvements made after the defeat to United.
He added: “Chelsea had the perfect response in the Super Cup after their loss against Manchester United. They were thrashed, and so we were expecting a reaction from Frank Lampard and I believe we got that.
“Liverpool were only good for the first 15 minutes, Chelsea had complete control of the game.
“Lampard should be very proud of his team if that’s how they will play this season, it’s a good response after a bad result even though they didn’t win.”