Frank Lampard insists he will continue to support Kepa Arrizabalaga after the goalkeeper’s latest mistake in Chelsea’s 3-3 draw with Southampton, while he expects Edouard Mendy will return within two weeks.
The West London club went two goals ahead at Stamford Bridge on Saturday thanks to a Timo Werner brace but were pegged back twice in the game, with Jannik Vestergaard striking in stoppage time to secure a draw for Southampton.
Kepa made several good stops as Saints dominated the second half, but was at fault for the away side’s second goal; Kurt Zouma under-hit his pass back to the keeper, who made a meal of his attempted tackle and allowed Che Adams to rifle home.
Lampard was disappointed for Kepa that the mistake overshadowed an otherwise decent display – also noting that he was not the only player at fault – and still hopes he can get through this difficult period of form.
Asked if Kepa is mentally strong enough to deal with yet another error, Lampard said: ‘He has to be strong enough, that’s part of the job we’re in when you’re playing top-level, elite sport.
‘All eyes are on, how competitive it is we know that, and the goalkeeper and their role means they have to really deal with that and these sort of moments. And that continues with Kepa.
‘He has to deal with that, he will feel the support of myself and he will feel the support of his teammates. And it’s unfortunate, because he did make a couple of good saves today.
Asked a follow up question about Kepa’s future when Mendy returns from injury, Lampard continued: ‘Well I was just talking about Kepa there. He made two really good saves in the match today, but of course people’s eyes will be drawn to the second goal and I understand that.
‘But it wasn’t just Kepa who was involved in that goal. So that’s the unfortunate world of being a goalkeeper.
‘And it’s clear that Mendy at the moment is injured and will probably be fit in the next week or two weeks, and then that will be the decision for me to make about who plays.’