Chelsea improving but need to find balance – Lampard

Chelsea have shown improvement this season but need to strike a balance between their attack and defence, manager Frank Lampard said on Tuesday.

Lampard’s Chelsea leaked nine goals in the opening five Premier League games but showed defensive improvement by keeping consecutive clean sheets in their Champions League game at home to Sevilla and their league trip to rivals Manchester United.

However, the team fired blanks in both those games despite the presence of new signings Kai Havertz and Timo Werner and winger Christian Pulisic in attack.

“We’ve played high-level opponents in the past two games. Sevilla are a very talented team. We wanted to get both sides right. I didn’t like every bit of it but we are still improving,” Lampard said ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League trip to Russian club Krasnodar.

“We can’t train much between games because of too many physical demands. The balance isn’t as great as I want it to be. It’s something we’re working on every day. We want more. It will take work.”

Lampard said the team will look to maintain their “edge” against Krasnodar as they did in their 1-0 victory away to Dutch club Ajax Amsterdam in the Champions League last season.

“It was a tough group last year. We saw that edge in our game, particularly at Ajax. It will be important we keep that edge,” he said. “People look at this group and think it is comfortable for us but we have to have the edge tomorrow.

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“I didn’t have a fantastic knowledge of them (Krasnodar) but since the draw we’ve watched them and are very aware of them. They are new into the Champions League so will have absolute motivation. We’re very focused on the game.”

Chelsea will be without Brazilian Thiago Silva against Krasnodar with the defender being rested, while goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga remains unavailable due to a shoulder problem.

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