Kepa Arrizabalaga Backed by Frank Lampard Despite Gary Neville Criticism


Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has backed goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga after their 3-1 win over Brighton & Hove Albion.

The Blues goalkeeper let Leonardo Trossard’s long-range shot slip under his arm in the second half. The goal was Brighton’s equaliser but Chelsea managed to add two more goals to seal three points despite conceding.

However, the Spain international faced criticism from Gary Neville after the match. The former Manchester United player explained that such mistakes will ‘cost you’ in the long run.

Frank Lampard Backs Kepa Arrizabalaga After Brighton & Hove Albion Mistake

Lampard: ‘Kepa is Here, He is Our ‘Keeper’

Following the 3-1 victory at the Amex Stadium last night, Lampard explained how Kepa remains the number one goalkeeper at Chelsea.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Lampard would not criticise the goal and explained Kepa could not have done any more to prevent Trossard’s shot from going in.

Lampard said: “I am very happy with Kepa. With the shot, I’m not sure if he could have done any better but I saw a bit more confidence in how he was playing. Kepa is here, he is our ‘keeper and I am happy with him.”

Neville: ‘You Have to Back Your Goalkeeper’

Although Lampard was quick to defend Kepa, Neville explained in his post-match analysis how the 25-year-old “makes far too many mistakes”.

Speaking on Sky Sport’s Monday Night Football, Neville said: “I don’t think he is [happy with Kepa]. I wouldn’t be, but, yet I know full well, having been in a coaching position, been in a changing room, you have to back your goalkeeper. You must back your players, you have to support them publicly but privately that goal, it’s a really poor goal to give away.

“He conceded so many goals from outside the box last season, he’s conceded another one tonight and it will cost you. If you don’t have a top goalkeeper, you won’t win that league.

“At this moment in time, he makes far too many mistakes. He lets too many goals into the back of his net that should be saved. 19 goals conceded from outside the box – that is a sorry story for a ¬£70m goalkeeper.”

Competition for Kepa?

Chelsea continues to be linked with Senegal goalkeeper Edouard Mendy recently. A deal between Chelsea and Rennes is reportedly close to completion. However,  Lampard stated that any signings would be for competition rather than an outright replacement.

On transfers, Lampard said: “If we are bringing in competition it will be competition. That’s the nature of Chelsea. That goes through the squad, so we’ll see.”

“We’ve got a big squad now as well so we have to manage that and look at how we move forward in terms of getting the right level of competition within the squad, but no news on that one at the minute.”

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