Frank Lampard admitted Chelsea are going through a “difficult period” as he claimed they would have won Monday’s game against Aston Villa a month ago.
Olivier Giroud gave Chelsea a first half lead but Anwar El Ghazi grabbed a second half equaliser to leave Lampard with just one win from his last five games.
The Chelsea boss said: “A month ago we win that. We have to fight through it.
“You want to get results at this point of the year. I could feel the players’ disappointment at the end because they want to win.
“A few weeks ago people were talking about us as title challengers, now it’s a difficult period. The new players are going to get better as they come along.
“Late on we got some chances and nearly scored, when you’re in a tough moment sometimes things don’t quite go for you.
“Second half, we conceded with a man on the floor, that’s the way it is for us at the moment. We pushed but couldn’t break the deadlock. Attitude-wise, effort-wise, some of the play was very good against a really good team.
“I can’t ask for more from the players today. No-one let me down, everyone worked hard, we didn’t get the rub of the green.”
Lampard praised veteran striker Giroud, 34, who is now top scorer with nine in all competitions and yet, incredibly, can talk to other clubs from January 1 as he is a free agent.
Lampard added: “Olivier is excellent at doing that. If you get the ball to him in the right areas then he will make good contact and score. He has been excellent for us since lockdown and again this season.”
Villa boss Dean Smith said: “It’s a battling point for us. They got beat in the last game so I certainly understand that. In my head, I was thinking whether to go with fresh legs or with momentum and confidence.
“I looked the players in the eye and they looked ready to start the game. You’ve got to find a balance between defending and attacking and I thought we did that really well.
“It’s only our second season back in the Premier League. You have to build gradually. We had 13 new players last season but only five this year. They’ve settled in quickly.
“We’ve got some tough games coming up. Every game is tough, but momentum and confidence is a big thing.”
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