The Blues had their positive moments early in the game but, once again, were let down by some abysmal finishing in front of goal, allowing Erik ten Hag’s well-oiled United machine to ruthlessly take advantage.
Before kick-off, Lampard acknowledged that Chelsea’s collective ‘standards’ had been dropping, and he did not hold back when asked to explain his comments after the final whistle.
“It’s a simple thing to say but any team that wins in the Premier League has them [standards] as a base, because without them the tactics do not matter,” Lampard said.
“Training well every day, trying to improve, being a real collective unit. There are some variables for the players, everyone talks about the bog squad and I understand that it’s hard for the coaches this year at the club – I get it because I’ve lived that for nine league games now.
“Sometimes you can say that is maybe a factor – if you want to call it an excuse – but as a player you have to put that to the side and focus on your own game. Since I’ve been in I’ve understood quickly that some of the collective standards – and it’s for the individuals within that to realise who they are – this is not a blanket, we just have to find the reasons for why the club is where it’s at, and there are many.
“It’s not just finger-pointing at the players because it’s definitely not a lack of effort this evening, but you build up the credit through your training and your prep, and you build up a resilience. I was fortunate enough to be a player here for many years and you can look at the group and the player next to you and know that he’s worked on his standards and everything is there to rely on each other.
“It’s a bad year for the club, and many clubs have these years when we’ve had massive success for the last 20 years or whatever, but the important thing is you get to the bottom of how it improves. It needs a reboot, the club will move on in summer in terms of what the squad looks like, and as a Chelsea player where we want to be, everything has to be improved to get to the level.”
Not only will Chelsea finish this Premier League season with their lowest points tally ever, but their 16 defeats this year is also an unwanted club record and, barring a nine-goal miracle against Newcastle on the final day of the campaign, will also end on their lowest goal tally.