Frank Lampard has called on his players to be killers in attack if they are to emulate Raheem Sterling’s two goals in their 2-2 draw against Nottingham Forest and finally overcome the team’s woes.
Chelsea were booed at the break against struggling Forest, trailing Taiwo Awoniyi’s header after Edouard Mendy beat a cross on his return to the side.
It then took just seven minutes in the second half for Sterling to turn things around and remind those same supporters of the potential the England striker still has to turn a game around on his own.
His first he owed to good work from Noni Madueke and Trevoh Chalobah down the right and a lucky deflection from Ryan Yates who lay battered on the turf, but his second was a sublime solo effort, sinking the ball into the bottom corner of Keylor Navas after finding space inside the box.
Lampard said Sterling’s example was one the whole team should follow for next season if Chelsea were to put this miserable campaign behind them.
Frank Lampard says his Chelsea side must become ‘top-field killers’
Raheem Sterling scored twice as Chelsea drew 2-2 against Nottingham Forest at Stamford Bridge
Lampard called on his team to emulate Sterling (second) from the right, after his performance
“Raheem is a player who has credit in the bank, he has been a regular goalscorer in the Premier League and for his country,” said the Blues boss.
“To see him score there (the first goal) was Raheem. Arrival for a cross, then individual brilliance to score the (second) goal. I am very happy for him. That’s what we need at the top of the field.
“Raheem did it and he produced it again. If you want to win games with 76% possession, you have to be killers up the pitch, and Raheem has proven to be that. At the moment, we don’t have enough.
The draw means Chelsea are yet to win at home since Lampard returned as caretaker manager on April 6 and saw them fall back to 12th place with Crystal Palace’s win over Bournemouth.
Aside from Sterling’s solo intervention, there was no sign that the goalscoring issues that derailed their season had an end in sight.
Lampard added: “What I liked was not so much the training of the week, it was more the idea of what the plan is before the game that we were going to have a lot of ball in their half, so we have to be really dynamic to move their back five, we have to make sure our counter-pressing positions are good, which has to be fair.
“What displeased me was that in the first half we didn’t do it with enough urgency to break the back five; aside, safe. Then in the second half, when we did, we got past them and scored a goal and showed urgency in our forward run and got another goal.
Forest held on top of the Premier League’s four relegation-threatened sides with Awoniyi’s second-half goal of the game robbing them of a point, ensuring the gap to 18th-placed Leeds remained at three before the last two games of the season.
“Probably a mix of really disappointed guys in the dressing room, and I like that because even though we had to work really hard for what we got today, we could have easily had a little more,” said Forest boss Cooper.
“It’s really the mixed feeling of that, and also knowing that we gave it our all, we stuck to the plan, we showed good resilience going down 2-1 when in reality I wouldn’t say we did it. offered Chelsea but we could have done so much better with their goals.
Goals aside, there was no indication Chelsea could score in the game
Sterling (right) has nine goals in 36 appearances in all competitions for Chelsea this term
Taiwo Awoniyi (third from left) also scored twice in the match at Stamford Bridge
“We knew Chelsea were going to have the ball, we were away from home. But the game was going exactly the way we wanted it to. So to turn it quickly to make it 2-1 and then pull something out of the game, I think that’s also a positive. There’s a lot to take away from the game.
“It feels like we give away goals easier than the way we score them. Look at the two goals today, great free-kick strategy for the second, good technique for the cross and header for the first.
“I never had to question the attitude, the desire, the resilience, the commitment, that part of the mentality. Sometimes a little conviction, focus and a little confidence outside the house.
“That’s why sometimes we got what we got. It was really good after being down 2-1 to get anything from the game because I don’t think many would have backed us to get anything today.