In the Premier League on Wednesday, an own goal by Blues captain Cesar Azpilicueta and a goal by Bryan Mbeumo gave Brentford a 2-0 victory, condemning Chelsea to their fifth loss in five games under interim coach Frank Lampard.
After this defeat, Chelsea dropped to 11th place in the Premier League, looking like they might be headed for their worst season since the 1993–1994 campaign when they finished in 14th place under Glenn Hoddle and before their new U.S. owners spent a fortune on players.
After 37 minutes, before the visitors even had a shot on goal, Brentford took the lead when defender Mathias Jorgensen headed on a corner at the near post and the ball struck Azpilicueta and went in.
Lampard, Chelsea’s third coach this season (after Thomas Tuchel and Graham Potter were let go), made substitutions at halftime, bringing in winger Mykhailo Mudryk and striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in an effort to end the London club’s goal drought, which has now stretched to seven games across all competitions.
But it was substitute Mbeumo, cutting in from the right, whose fiercely hit shot was deflected past Kepa Arrizabalaga in the 78th minute, who showed the Blues the way.
Thanks to the win, Brentford moved up to ninth place in the league, eight points ahead of their big-spending West London rivals.
The media reported that Chelsea was very close to hiring Mauricio Pochettino, the manager of Tottenham Hotspur, to take over as coach for the upcoming season.
“This is not a sob story but everything is going against us,” Lampard told BT Sport, saying Chelsea had controlled much of the game but failed to create clear chances, something he attributed to a lack of confidence.
“We would love a magic wand, a magic moment. It doesn’t come in football because the Premier League moves so fast, it’s competitive,” the former midfielder who is Chelsea’s all-time top scorer, said. “So we will have to fight for our moment.”
After Wednesday’s victory, Brentford head coach Thomas Frank could revel in his team’s having surpassed their point total for the entirety of last season, their first in the Premier League.
“You can’t take that for granted. That takes a lot of hours on the training pitch, in the offices, over a year to be in a position where we are now,” he said.