Chelsea boss Frank Lampard says he “learned a lot” from his side’s performance in their 3-0 defeat at Sheffield United on Saturday, admitting they will need to change their approach for the remaining matches of the season if they are to secure a top-four finish.
Lampard’s side were completely outplayed by the in-form Blades, with two goals from David McGoldrick either side of Oli McBurnie’s header securing a third win in four matches that lifts the Yorkshire club into the top six.
Chelsea remain third despite the defeat, but know they could begin their next match against relegated Norwich on Tuesday in fifth if Leicester and Manchester United win their games in hand against Bournemouth and Southampton respectively.
It was Lampard’s heaviest league defeat as Blues manager since their 4-0 thrashing at Manchester United on the opening weekend of the season, with the 11 league matches Chelsea have lost in total this season their most in a single campaign for four years.
The former England midfielder conceded his side were second-best all over the pitch at Bramall Lane but has pledged to move on quickly, with league games against Liverpool and Wolves to come after Tuesday's clash with the Canaries, as well as an FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United.
"They were better than us, physically, in the mind and with the ball. So you lose the game," he told Sky Sports.
“They were stronger than us. You feel and hear every noise and all I could hear was Sheffield United voices. They are a good team. If you come here and perform below par this is what will happen.
"We matched them shape wise. We were too slow and weren't getting our wingers into the game. We tried to get control, which we did but weren't threatening. At 2-0 down you make it difficult for yourselves.
"You analyse all season and review and move forward. We need to put that to bed quickly and fight for the top four. I learned a lot and I won't forget that."
When asked what damage the result had inflicted on Chelsea's top-four hopes, Lampard added: "I am not concerned about top four today. All I do is sit and watch the games and consider what we want to do. But today I am concerned with how we performed.
"We will see where we are when we approach Norwich. But we can't approach Norwich or Manchester United or Wolves like we did today."