(Soccer) Chelsea homecoming an anticlimax for Lampard

Monday, August 19, 2019

Frank Lampard climbed the steps in the tunnel and emerged to rapturous applause from Chelsea fans, a flame display and a giant banner at one end of Stamford Bridge that read “Welcome Home Super Frank.”

“The stuff of dreams,” Lampard described his homecoming yesterday. He couldn’t mark it with a victory, though.

Lampard’s winless run as manager of the club where he is the record scorer and one of its greatest players extended to three games after Leicester fought back to earn a 1-1 draw in the Premier League.

After a 4-0 loss at Manchester United on the opening weekend of the Premier League and then a penalty-shootout defeat to Liverpool on Wednesday, Chelsea couldn’t hold on to the lead given by youngster Mason Mount’s seventh-minute goal.

Holding midfielder Wilfred Ndidi was at fault for that goal after being dispossessed by Mount on the edge of Leicester’s area, but he made amends by scoring the equalizer.

James Maddison swung over the corner and Ndidi rose higher than marker Cesar Azpilicueta to plant a firm header into the corner.

Chelsea struggled in the second half, perhaps through fatigue having been taken to extra time by Liverpool in the Super Cup, which finished after midnight local time in Turkey.

Leicester wasted a clear chance to take all three points when Maddison weaved past Chelsea’s static defense in the 73rd minute only to blaze over from point-blank range.

While Chelsea started the season disappointingly under Lampard, Leicester — highly fancied to break into the top six under Brendan Rodgers — are also without a win after opening with a 0-0 home draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers.-AP