Frank Lampard Talks 'Tough First Game' After Chelsea Draw with Bohemians

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJuly 11, 2019

DUBLIN, IRELAND - JULY 10: Frank Lampard, Manager of Chelsea acknowledges the fans after the Pre-Season Friendly match between Bohemians FC and Chelsea FC at Dalymount Park on July 10, 2019 in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has said he expected his team to find things tough in his first game as manager, as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Bohemians. 

Michy Batshuayi, who had loan spells at Valencia and Crystal Palace in 2018-19, gave the Blues a first-half lead in Dublin on Wednesday, before Eric Molloy grabbed an equaliser in the 89th minute to square the game.

Speaking after the match, Lampard said he didn't expect the fixture to be easy, per Goal:

"It was a good run out. We had good support and thanks for people turning out. It was a tough first game for us as we have not been back for long. We've only been back just a few days, so there had been some pressure on the lads and we have been working them very hard. I am pleased with the outcome.

"Fitness was our issue, but I wanted to stretch them a bit and put them under pressure. This is what pre-season is all about, and the quicker we get there, to the level we want, then the better. We wanted to win the game as you always do but it is not about that."

Lampard also spoke to the club's official channels after the encounter and was delighted at the amount of support he and the team have received:

Chelsea shared a clip of Batshuayi's opening goal:

Matt Law of the Daily Telegraph believes Lampard will be content with the display:

The Blues fielded a different team in each half, with a number of key players absent due to their international commitments over the summer. On some of the more high-profile players, Lampard said "you will see some of them at the weekend," with the Blues set to face St. Patrick's Athletic on Saturday.

Those changes, factored in with a lack of fitness, meant the match was always going to be a fractured affair from a Chelsea perspective.

There were a number of players returning to the field for the Blues after loan spells or a stint on the fringes too. Liam Twomey of ESPN FC commented on a couple of standout performers and noted that Danny Drinkwater, who didn't feature in a competitive game for Chelsea at all last term, was given an opportunity:

Given the late equaliser, some of the home fans couldn't resist a joke at Lampard's expense, per Brian Barry of Sky Sports:

There's little to take from these early fixtures in pre-season, with managers keen for players to get miles into their legs and knock off some rust with the ball.

If Chelsea supporters are to get much from pre-season matches, it will be those closer to the start of the Premier League season, with the Blues up against Manchester United in their opener on August 11. Lampard will have learned a lot more about his squad by then.

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