The Blues had begun well against Manchester City but were blown away by three goals in 16 minutes as a combination of expert attacking play and collective and individual errors gave the visitors an unassailable advantage.
A brighter second-half showing included a late Callum Hudson-Odoi consolation goal, but the damage had most certainly been done. Lampard reflected afterwards on the journey his squad are on and what the short-term target must be, but first he pinpointed what most concerned him about a chastening day at the Bridge…
‘From 15 minutes onwards we allowed City to take control of the game, find spaces between the lines, and play with the quality of player they have,’ he said.
‘The two goals came in quick succession and you have to continue believing and keep going, and for the rest of the half the players found that difficult because of the levels City were playing at with and without the ball.
‘I said to the players at half-time, I sat there and had those days. I sat there and had those days and lifted a trophy at the end of the year. I remember getting beaten at Middlesbrough 2-0 or 3-0, when they had Viduka and Yakubu up front, and we were sat in the dressing room pretty demoralised. We bounced back because we had a spirit in the dressing room, we had a quality of player.
‘We’re in a different period now, but any player in football is going to have moments like that. Some of the results we’ve seen this season for other teams, Man City, Liverpool and others, have been harsh for them. Now, because we’re in a bit of a period, it becomes even harsher for us. I don’t want to hide away from that, but the players, myself, have to take it on the chin and react.’