Chelsea News: Frank Lampard speaks on Kepa Criticism after 2-2 draw vs Valencia in the Champions league encounter on Wednesday night.
Chelsea could have secured a place in the Champions league knock out stages with a win against Valencia. However, they have now complicated matters for themselves after drawing with Valencia 2-2 on Wednesday night.
Valencia scored the first goal of the night Carlos Soler found the net in the 40th minute. Mateo Kovacic equalised a minute later before Christian Pulisic scored in the 50th minute to put Chelsea ahead. With less than 10 minutes left in the match, it appeared that the blues would leave Spain with 3 points.
However, Daniel Wass had at other plans as he skied a terrific strike from quite the distance that flew over Chelsea keeper Kepa’s head and went in off the far post. Fans criticised Kepa and his positioning after the match. Chelsea boss Lampard has now opened up on the goal.
It was certainly a fluke
While there are many who believe that Kepa is not playing at the standards of his world record price, Lampard is of the opinion that the Spaniard is a top keeper and Valencia’s second goal at the Mestalla was not his fault.
‘It was certainly a fluke,’ Lampard said after the game.
‘He didn’t mean to score and that makes it more difficult for the goalkeeper because they don’t expect to go off the far top corner. ‘The cross came in too high for him. ‘I know there might be the feeling he pulled his hands away, I’m not sure he would have got there anyway.
‘I will have to look at it again and Kepa will be the best one because he’s very honest with himself and if he feels he could have got it then I’m sure he would say that. ‘But we can’t look away from the penalty save. ‘It wasn’t just a standard penalty save, it was a fantastic one and that’s what top keepers do to save you points.’
You can watch the goal and the penalty save here:
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Chelsea now play Lille next. If the Blues beat Lille at Stamford Bridge, they will qualify to the next round regardless of what happens between Ajax and Valencia. However, a loss will certainly send them to the Europa league.
A draw on the other hand will either take them to the knockouts or drop them to the Europa depending on who wins between Ajax and Valencia. An Ajax win will see them qualify for the Champions League knock-outs. Should the Dutch club lose, Chelsea will compete in the Europa for the second year in a row.
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