Frank Lampard has admitted that Chelsea ‘can only blame themselves’ for their 2-1 defeat in the FA Cup final to Arsenal, while it was confirmed that stars Christian Pulisic and Cesar Azpilicueta will not feature against Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
The Blues started Saturday’s final well, but faded after Arsenal’s equalising penalty, and a combination of injuries, red cards and poor defending left the West Londoners facing an uphill task.
Pulisic’s fabulous opener was countered by the brilliance of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and with that defeat, Lampard was left feeling the familiar pain of another Wembley stadium final defeat.
The Chelsea boss spoke at length after the final whistle, while also confirming in his post-match press conference that Pulisic and Azpilicueta will both miss the trip to Bayern after picking up hamstring injuries.
“We started well for 10 or 15 minutes, scored a goal and created a few chances were in control of the game,” the boss began. “But after that, we can only blame ourselves from that point in football terms.
“We got complacent. We took too long on the ball, we started playing short passes like it was a stroll. An FA Cup final can never be a stroll. We allowed Arsenal back in the game and from that point onwards, it’s always going to be difficult. A lot of today was on us.”
“In the second half we came out brighter, if Christian goes through and scores as opposed to missing and doing his hamstring – well, the circumstances in the game conspired against us.
“It’s been a busy period for us. The players have given everything. With 10 men the last 20 minutes was a really difficult challenge for them. We shouldn’t become too stuck on today. Of course we are disappointed tonight, but over the season as a whole what we have managed to do, come where we did in the league, is a huge plus for us.
“Today would have been the icing on the cake but it wasn’t to be.”
Lampard also reflected on the injury woes his side have faced, while praising ‘incredible servant’ Pedro, who has played what looks to be his final game for the club.
“It’s a really disappointing end for him Pedro, because that is probably going to be his last game for Chelsea. He’s been an incredible servant, and he looked bright when he came on.
“We didn’t have the luck with the injuries, and things all came together for us today in a way we wouldn’t want. Two hamstring injuries for Azpi and Pulisic, a dislocated shoulder for Pedro and Willian getting injured yesterday before the game.
“Kante wasn’t really fit for this game, it was only a maybe if we needed him depending on how the game was going and having to make the subs when I did, made it very difficult to risk him. Ruben Loftus-Cheek was out too, as we get to the end of a very long season.
“I’m not making excuses, because we didn’t perform well enough, but it felt like that was a tipping point with everything coming together at the same time.”