Frank Lampard insists Kepa Arrizabalaga wasn’t solely to blame for Southampton’s first equaliser against Chelsea on Saturday.
The Blues were held to a 3-3 draw by Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men, with a 90th-minute equaliser from Jannik Vestergaard rescuing a point for Saints.
Kepa, who returned to the starting XI due to injury to Blues new-boy Edouard Mendy, didn’t cover himself in glory for Saint’s first leveller – which came via from Che Adams.
Adams was put through by a horrific back pass from Kurt Zouma, which left the former Birmingham City man bearing down on goal.
Kepa Arrizabalaga failed to stop Che Adams from getting Southampton’s first equaliser against Chelsea
Kepa was tentative as he came off his line and ultimately bottled his challenge on Adams, who managed to keep the ball in play and smash it high into the net.
Many Blues fans were quick to pile on the world’s most expensive keeper, who has made a string of errors over the last few months.
Lampard, however, insists the blame for Adam’s goal doesn’t solely rest at the 26-year-old’s feet.
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“I talked about Kepa before, and it wasn’t just his fault in the goal,” Lampard said. “Mendy is injured and could be fit in the next week or two weeks then it will be my choice.”
Although Lampard doesn’t hold Kepa solely responsible for Adams’ goal, he wants the former Athletic Bilbao man to be strong enough to take the criticism that comes his way.
“He has to be strong enough, that is what it is like in elite sport and goalkeepers have to deal with that,” the Blues boss said.
“He will have the support of myself and his teammates. It’s a shame because he made some good saves.”
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