Lampard’s concerns grow as expectation levels aren’t matching results at Chelsea

The pressure remains on Frank Lampard with more points dropped.

It is now just one win in their last five Premier League games and that sort of form is unlikely to keep Chelsea fans happy after more frustration at Stamford Bridge.

Quite how quickly some have begun to doubt one of their all time great players is baffling in what is clearly an incredibly challenging season for every club.

But maybe that is what you get when you spend £200m in the summer because expectation levels appear to have been raised to sky high levels when anything less than a title challenge will suffice.

That seems a long way off for Chelsea who do look as if they are struggling for confidence and belief while the opposite is true for Aston Villa.

Olivier Giroud had given Chelsea the lead

Another impressive away performance, an important point salvaged after going behind and that will be a big comfort for Dean Smith’s men who moved into fifth, just six points off the top with a game in hand.

That is quite some return for Villa who continued to defy the odds and they certainly upset Chelsea in what finished as a bad tempered, niggly but end-to-end and exciting contest.

There are of course no fans allowed in Stamford Bridge but with the Chelsea substitutes sat in the stands they took great delight in screaming protests at referee Stuart Attwell and giving Villa captain Jack Grealish some stick.

That just about summed up Chelsea’s frustrations because it is not quite happening for them right now and, from what looked like a season of promise a few weeks ago, they have slipped off the pace.

Anwar El Ghazi struck Villa’s equaliser

Suddenly, it does look a worrying scenario for Lampard.

And, interestingly, just days after calling out his players, publicly insisting they must take responsibility for the defeat at Arsenal, Lampard made six changes, went for experience and that decision reaped rich rewards with Olivier Giroud.

If ever there was a man for a crisis then it must be the 34-year-old France striker who has been priceless for Chelsea this season and it was his ninth goal of the season – making him top scorer in all competitions – which put the home side ahead.

Chelsea protested against El Ghazi’s leveller

Christian Pulisic played the ball wide with Ben Chilwell making a perfectly timed overlapping run before drilling in a near post cross which was an open invitation for a 34th minute opener.

No centre forward is quite as good as Giroud at making a near post run just as he did this time to head in from close range. Not only was it another goal for Giroud but also Chilwell’s fourth assist and the £50m left back has quietly become an integral player for Chelsea.

But Villa these days are a tougher nut to crack and their 50th minute leveller was shrouded in controversy.

Andreas Christensen flew into a challenge with Grealish, the Chelsea defender stayed down and, to the home side’s disgust, Villa played on before Matt Cash put over a brilliant cross and Anwar El Ghazi stormed in at the back post to fire through Mendy.

Lampard’s side have won just one of their last five in the Premier League

The Chelsea bench were fuming, the players surrounded Stuart Attwell but Villa clearly felt they did not need to stop as it was Christensen who fouled Grealish.

Suddenly, it turned up the heat and temper level. Pulisic had a header cleared off the line by Ezri Konsa and then Villa midfielder John McGinn crashed a 20 yard shot hit the bar. Chilwell slashed a shot just wide in injury time.

It was frantic, nervous and yet ultimately finished all square.

A good point for Villa, frustration for Chelsea and not enough for Lampard.

Where will Chelsea finish this season? Have your say in the comments below

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