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CHELSEA FALTER Frank Lampard admits he is in a 'tough moment' as pressure mounts on his position at Chelsea


Olivier Giroud celebrates his goal (Richard Heathcote/PA)

Olivier Giroud celebrates his goal (Richard Heathcote/PA)

Olivier Giroud celebrates his goal (Richard Heathcote/PA)

Anwar El Ghazi cancelled out Olivier Giroud’s header as Aston Villa stole a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge to stay above Chelsea in the Premier League table.

El Ghazi tapped home at the far post with the Blues frustrated neither the officials nor Villa had stopped play, with Andreas Christensen out of commission after a heavy challenge with Jack Grealish.

Giroud had nodded Chelsea into a 1-0 half-time lead, the France striker gleefully posting his ninth Blues goal of the campaign in all competitions.

But Frank Lampard’s men could not get back to winning ways after their 3-1 loss at Arsenal on Boxing Day, to be left instead with just one victory in their last five league matches.

Villa by contrast extended their unbeaten run to five matches, to sit fifth in the table and hold off Chelsea in sixth.

Chelsea boss Lampard made six changes from the Boxing Day defeat at Arsenal, but will have been frustrated not to receive the upswing in performance he had demanded as he admitted his side are struggling.

“I got a reaction in performance, started really well and we got a goal we deserved,” he said on Amazon Prime. “We conceded when we had a man on the floor and that is the run we are on in the minute.

“When you are in a tough moment things don’t go for you, a month ago we probably win that game, things go for you with a little bit of belief.

“Now it is a tough moment, but we have to fight through it. But I can’t ask for more than what the players gave, the way they worked for it. Nobody let me down today.”

Lampard is in the dark over his side’s next two games – a Premier League clash with Manchester City and an FA Cup tie with Morecambe after both of those clubs had games called off due to coronavirus outbreaks on Monday.

“We will have to cross that bridge when it comes,” he said. “Covid is strange times for all of us for different reasons.

“I think we all sensed that this month might be a tough one with what has been happening pre-Christmas with the surge and the difficulties the public have got and football has been having.

“Secondary will be football, if we don’t play those games we will keep working but we will keep everyone safe first and foremost.”

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith said he was not setting any targets after his side stayed in the top six with a 1-1 draw at Chelsea.

He said on Prime Video: “We are not setting targets at the moment. We are just working game to game, we have got a really important period coming up.

“We have got 10 points out of the last four games and it sets us up for a big period against the top teams. The lads are looking forward to the games.

“Even though we only played 48 hours ago, the lads were looking forward to the game.

“Everybody has seen there is a lot of strange results in this league. We know we can compete with the best in the league."

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Press Association