Chelsea need to show patience while Lampard irons out his team’s kinks
It was always going to take time for the Frank Lampard era to get going and, on this evidence, all parties will need to show the patience promised to the new Chelsea manager.
Much like in their first two games of the season, Chelsea showed promise, offered excitement and displayed evidence of taking on board their coachs ideas. But again there was little control, no crowning glory and, crucially, no victory.
Chelsea were much the better side in the first half at Stamford Bridge against Leicester and deservedly took the lead through Mason Mounts first goal for the club. But the away side flew out of the blocks after the break, got James Maddison onto the ball, cut the Blues to ribbons and equalised with Wilfried Ndidis unmarked header from a corner to draw 1-1.
There was no sign of a late rally – it was Leicester who fashioned much the better chances on the counter-attack to leave Chelsea hanging on – and Lampard was ultimately left grateful for a point at the end of his first home game in charge.
Its been a tough start to the season for Lampard, who has faced daunting trips to Old Trafford and Istanbul before hosting Brendan Rodgers Foxes and the coming matches against newly-promoted Norwich and Sheffield United will be welcomed with open arms.
The disappointment – not yet frustration – stems from the fact that all the ingredients appear to be there. In Mount Chelsea have a young, dynamic all-rounder to be excited about, in NGolo Kante they have an indefatigable ball-winner, and in Kepa Arrizabalaga, Kurt Zouma and Andreas Christensen they appear to have the basis of a solid, youthful core.
But at the moment the components are not coming together for an entire 90 minutes. Against Manchester United, Chelsea pushed hard in the first half, didnt make their spell count and were hammered on the counter-attack. Against Liverpool in the European Super Cup they faded similarly, if not as dramatically.
The theme was the same against Leicester. The first half was all about Mount, who ran the show with enthusiastic drive from the centre of midfield and got his just reward for pressing high up the pitch, robbing Ndidi and keeping his feet to find the net.
In truth the 20-year-old could have had a hat-trick, with Kasper Schmeichel keeping one effort out and Mount heading another straight at the Danish goalkeeper.