‘I was surprised’ - Frank Lampard’s baffling Chelsea selection shocked Brentford boss Thomas Frank

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Thomas Frank Brentford 2021-22
Thomas Frank admitted he was "surprised" by Frank Lampard's Chelsea line-up during Wednesday's 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge.
  • Brentford beat Chelsea 2-0
  • Blues started with a five-man backline
  • Frank was "surprised" by Chelsea's "respect"

WHAT HAPPENED? An own goal from Cesar Azpilicueta and a Bryan Mbeumo strike in either half saw Chelsea succumb to their fifth defeat in as many matches under interim manager Lampard. The tactician fielded a similar XI that went down to Real Madrid in the Champions League with a back five and four central midfielders, keeping Raheem Sterling as a lone striker. This defensive approach, especially at Stamford Bridge, surprised Brentford boss Frank but he was pleased to see Chelsea in their shell.

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WHAT THEY SAID: "We were pleased they showed us so much respect. I was surprised. I respect every team, we don’t fear any team," he told the media after the match.

"We talked about the team when we saw the line-up. It’s still Chelsea, still Stamford Bridge, still unbelievable players. We’ve tried to add layers and work hard on the different systems and principles and the way we were in control of the game was very good."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Lampard did make amends during the half-time break and shifted to a back-four and also introduced Mykhailo Mudryk and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for Connor Gallagher and Azpilicueta. However, those changes had little impact on the match and Mbeumo's 78th-minute strike dashed all hopes of a possible comeback.

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Frank Lampard Chelsea 2022-23

Frank Lampard Chelsea Brentford 2022-23


WHAT NEXT? Chelsea will be back in action on Tuesday in the London derby against Arsenal, while Brentford will host Nottingham Forest on Saturday.