Frank Lampard believes a top-four finish for Chelsea would be a “huge achievement” but says it is still not guaranteed with ten games of the season to play.
Marcos Alonso rescued a late point for Chelsea in a 2-2 draw against Bournemouth, taking the Blues four points clear of Manchester United in fifth place, who play Everton on Sunday, live on Sky Sports.
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As we approach the crunch end of the Premier League campaign, Lampard says a top-four finish would be a remarkable feat for his side, but was cautious about predicting their final place.
He said: “With how this season has panned out, we should be pleased that we’re in fourth position because people would have questioned if we would get that, but it means nothing at this stage in the season.
“We need to keep fighting and keep working. If we can remain in and around it and manage to get into the top four, I think the achievement is huge but we’re far from that yet.”
Alonso has scored three goals in two games for Chelsea, but with the team having 23 shots overall at the Vitality Stadium, Lampard was frustrated that his attacking force continue to come up short.
“It’s costing us [not converting half chances],” he added. “Everyone wants to point to the defence, we work all week on it and it’s hard to create actual situations like someone out-jumping your man or diving in and getting done when they shouldn’t do as a centre-back.
Chelsea vs Everton
March 8, 2020, 1:00pm
“But at the same time, if you’re going to create 23 chances and balls flashing across the face of goal with chances we should be sticking away, that’s what creates the nervousness. It’s a clear part of our season – we create a lot and play some really good stuff, but we need to stick the ball in the back of the net.
“We expected their [Bournemouth’s] fight and the atmosphere in the stadium so they gave us a difficult game, particularly in that small spell where they scored their two goals.
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“Other than that, we should win the game on chances. We had a lot of possession… and at the start of the second half, we should maybe go 2-0 up [through Olivier Giroud], but we don’t and then they scored two goals. The character from the team was great in the end, it was not through want of trying, but when we create the number of chances that we do, we need more goals.
“I’m delighted for Marcos. He’s had a big week, he scored a great goal at Tottenham and two here, but I don’t necessarily want my left-back being top of the scoring charts. We need to score goals in attacking areas and over the last period of games, we haven’t.
“If we keep having these games with domination of the ball and lots and chances but we’re not clinical enough, it’s tough. We have to keep fighting because it’s going to be a tough road in.”
Abraham seeing specialist over ankle
Lampard revealed Tammy Abraham has seen a specialist in Barcelona in a bid to solve his troublesome ankle injury.
Abraham played through the pain of his ankle problem in Chelsea’s 2-2 draw at Leicester on February 1, but pulled up with a recurrence of the issue in the warm-down after Tuesday’s 3-0 loss to Bayern Munich.
Chelsea host Liverpool in the FA Cup on Tuesday night, with boss Lampard admitting he still does not know whether Abraham will be fit.
“Tammy went to Barcelona, to have a look at his ankle for some more advice on it,” said Lampard, after Chelsea’s 2-2 Premier League draw at Bournemouth.
“I’ve got no update for you. I’m hoping it’s not a long-term injury but I can’t tell you if he’ll be ready for Tuesday or Saturday.”
Howe: A big point
Bournemouth have now gone three games unbeaten against Chelsea in their Premier League meetings, and manager Eddie Howe was pleased to pick up a vital draw in their battle against relegation.
He said: “The glass is half full. To be down 1-0 at half-time against these types of teams, it’s very difficult to come back but we did.
“We showed great spirit in that second half and it was a really good opening period from us at the start of both halves today, we just couldn’t carry that momentum on. But we got a big point today and hopefully at the end of the season, it will prove pivotal.
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