Football Features

Man Utd could become Frank Lampard’s least-favourite opponents when Chelsea visit this Saturday

By Ben Green

Published: 18:00, 23 October 2020

Not many players, or managers, can claim to have a positive record against Manchester United, and Frank Lampard is no exception to this trend.

Even in their current state, post-Sir Alex Ferguson, they remain a heavyweight of the game and a force to be reckoned with, as Lampard will attest to last season, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer claiming a hat-trick of scalps.

But, even before his maiden campaign in the Stamford Bridge dugout, Lampard enjoyed very few moments of glory against the North West powerhouse, with the nadir of his encounters coming in that 2008 Champions League final sudden-death defeat.

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According to, Lampard played in just 13 wins and suffered 18 defeats in 40 games across all competitions versus Man Utd during his playing days. Throw his managerial results into the equation, and he has 21 defeats on his CV against the Red Devils.

This is his second-worst combined record against any club, with only Arsenal having inflicted more defeats on him (22 to be exact). So, if Lampard suffers yet another loss at the hands of Solskjaer this weekend, then Man Utd will become his joint-least-favourite opponent.

Returning to Old Trafford for the first time his since managerial bow as Chelsea boss, Lampard will be desperate to avoid the capitulation that his side endured in their 2019/20 curtain raiser, in which Solskjaer’s men ran amok in a 4-0 win.

Goals from Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Daniel James determined the tie that day, and in turn, laid the foundations for a concerning pattern that has followed Lampard on the road. As it stands, no side has conceded more goals away from home in the league than Chelsea (42) since the start of last season.

In those games more goals have been produced than in any other side’s away fixtures (87). And that trend has largely remained consistent this term, with Chelsea shipping the second-most goals of any club in the top half of the table (nine), while also scoring the joint third-most in the league (13).

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Last weekend’s 3-3 draw with Southampton was Chelsea under Lampard in microcosm: threatening in attack, but porous at the back. The Blues followed up with a goalless stalemate against reigning Europa League champions, Sevilla, in midweek and Lampard will take encouragement from the clean sheet, a rare commodity in west London these days.

But he faces a monumental task of trying to replicate that defensive showing for his matchup with Man Utd. Indeed the club are looking to win three consecutive top-flight meetings against Chelsea for the first time since 1965, when a certain Sir Matt Busby was at the helm.

Coupled with Chelsea’s recent form at Old Trafford, winless in their last seven league meetings, it seems Lampard has a tough job to stem that tide, particularly against a side that just made Neymar and Kylian Mbappe look very ordinary in their Parisian showdown on Tuesday night.

This match will be a huge indicator of Chelsea’s capabilities this season, and Lampard will be looking to his FA Cup semi-final triumph as a blueprint for further success. But, history points in the favour of the Red Devils, who could cement their status as Lampard’s (joint) ultimate nemesis on Saturday.