Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard has hit back at Jose Mourinho after the former manager’s criticism of his team selection for the 4-0 loss to Manchester United at the Old Trafford on Sunday.
Lampard saw his side suffer an embarrassing defeat to the hosts in his first competitive game in charge of the Blues.
Working for Sky Sports, former Chelsea boss Mourinho criticised Lampard’s selection, saying more experienced players like N’Golo Kante, Marcos Alonso and Olivier Giroud should have started, while questioning the performances of Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Andreas Christensen.
Lampard seemed surprised by Mourinho’s comments, saying injuries had an impact on selection in his side’s season opener.
“He didn’t like the performance of Mason Mount? Is that what he said? Did he? Wow,” Lampard told a news conference.
“Well, I can’t drag players out of the medical room to play if they are experienced or not, so these are the players that played in a game that we were clearly the better team for 45-60 minutes.
“What was evident that we made individual errors that led to four goals out of their five shots. So there’s the harsh reality for us.
“I don’t have to be too concerned about what anyone else says, pundit-wise or anyone, they have to speak. At the same time, what’s clear is the squad is what we’ve got and I believe in it.
“If we go in at half-time 2-1 or 3-1 up, as we probably should have done if we were more clinical and maybe had a stroke of luck here and there, the game would’ve been completely different.”
Giroud and Kante were both introduced off the bench, while Christian Pulisic also came on for his Premier League debut in the second half, but Lampard’s side could not recover following two goals in the space of 95 seconds from the home side.
The 4-0 loss marked Chelsea’s heaviest ever opening-day league defeat in what is their 104th league season and the heaviest defeat for Lampard in the Premier League since taking a 7-1 loss to United as a West Ham player in 2000.