Frank Lampard said that Kepa Arrizabalaga needs support after admitting the Spanish goalkeeper made a “clear mistake” in Chelsea’s 2-0 defeat to Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Arrizabalaga was at fault when Sadio Mané dispossessed him and doubled Liverpool’s lead with his second goal early in the second half. The 25-year-old has struggled since his £71.6m move from Athletic Bilbao two years ago and will face an uncertain future when Chelsea, who missed a chance to drag themselves back into the game when Alisson saved Jorginho’s penalty, complete the £22m signing of Edouard Mendy from Rennes.
“With the Kepa situation it’s a clear mistake,” Lampard said. “A clear mistake that has cost us because at that point we go on to have a penalty which we maybe score. Those fine margins change games at this level. We have to keep working, Kepa has to keep working. He has to have support around him, that’s very clear. It was a clear mistake on the day.”
Arrizabalaga also conceded a poor goal when Chelsea, who lost Andreas Christensen to a red card against Liverpool, beat Brighton last Monday and Lampard already plans to start Willy Caballero against Barnsley in the third round of the Carabao Cup on Wednesday.
“I can say now that Willy Caballero will play and that was always my feeling that he will play in that game even before today,” Chelsea’s manager said. “He is our player and it is clear now that there are two games where we have felt, today was a clear mistake and Brighton was a mistake too and he has reflected on it in that way.
“We have to keep working, it is the rule of football. Players need support, particularly from myself. I give that to all the players. Kepa has to keep working, nobody tries to make mistakes in football, it is the nature of the game. You have to be strong, you keep going and that is where he is at.”
There are doubts over Antonio Rüdiger’s Chelsea future after the defender was left out of the squad to face Liverpool. “We have five centre halves at the club and I can’t pick a squad that has three of them on the bench,” Lampard said. “That is the way it is, I have to pick a squad via training and situations and that was the selection today.
Liverpool’s manager, Jürgen Klopp, praised Thiago Alcântara after the former Bayern Munich midfielder impressed after coming on for his debut at half-time. “He played with Spain and trained with Munich so he’s fit, that’s not problem,” Klopp said. “He needs to get used to your his team-mates, but when they went one man down it became the perfect game for him. I liked his game a lot. Defensively it was tricky for him, but offensively, with the ball, that’s him, he wants to pass the ball.”