LONDON - Frank Lampard admitted Chelsea will need time to close the gap on Liverpool at the top of the Premier League after the champions laid down an early season marker with a 2-0 win on Sunday.
Sadio Mane did all the damage for Jurgen Klopp’s men as he provoked a red card for Andreas Christensen late in the first half before scoring twice in four minutes early in the second period.
Chelsea have spent £200 million in the transfer market to cut into the 33-point gap between the sides last season, but the decision to invest most of that in forwards rather than addressing more urgent defensive needs was badly exposed on another afternoon to forget for goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Lampard was able to name just two of his new signings, Timo Werner and Kai Havertz, in the starting line-up with Ben Chilwell and Hakim Ziyech injured and experienced centreback Thiago Silva lacking match fitness.
“Every team that’s been successful has had time, has had a process and our process starts here. Not from last year,” said Lampard, who could not make any signings in his first transfer window in charge last year due to a transfer ban.
“Last year we couldn’t do much business so we worked and worked and worked to come fourth.
“Our objectives, our expectations are higher, but we will take some time.”