The last throw of the dice... the late substitutions of youngsters Billy Gilmour, wearing 47, and Michy Batshuayi, as Chelsea clung on to their precarious 2-1 lead over Sheffield United at the Bridge. But the Blades, and manager Chris Wilder - on the right of the touchline group - were celebrating at the end after
The last throw of the dice… the late substitutions of youngsters Billy Gilmour, wearing 47, and Michy Batshuayi, as Chelsea clung on to their precarious 2-1 lead over Sheffield United at the Bridge.
But the Blades, and manager Chris Wilder – on the right of the touchline group – were celebrating at the end after sub Lys Mousset flicked the ball past Kepa in the Chelsea goal in the 89th minute to earn a 2-2 draw.
The Blues looked to have done enough for a win. At half-time they were cruising comfortably at 2-0, with the ever-improving Tammy Abraham scoring his second brace in a week.
His first, in the 19th minute, was a smart, slick hook back into goal after United keeper Dean Henderson had parried his first header, meeting a cross from Cesar Azpilicueta, scampering down the right wing.
The second came two minutes before the break – a defensive cock-up by central defenders Chris Basham and Jack O’Connell allowing Abraham through to hook another home.
But United were reinvigorated after the interval, scoring in the first minute as Endo Stevens fed Callum Robinson, who sliced through the Blues defence like, er, a blade, before scoring.
Chelsea held on and held on, with Abraham a whisker away from getting his hat-trick, but Sheffield fought to the last, and got their reward in the last minute.
“It was under control, it is our fault for gifting them a goal in the first minute of the second half,” lamented Lampard in the post-match press conference. “It’s a similar story already. The game should have been comfortable and we have dropped two points. We want to win games, the emergence of youth is one thing but winning games is another. When you are 2-0 up at half-time you should win the game.
“We had more than enough on the pitch to win that game from 2-0 up. There is no chance that that game should swing like that. We gave them the possibility to hurt us.”
And he was right. Chelsea began looking edgy and – yes – tired in the second half, and at this level, that isn’t good enough. This was a game that should have been put to bed without fuss. Instead, it’s another two points dropped, just ahead of the international break.