Chelsea No 1 Kepa Arizzabalaga really had a mixed bag game vs Valencia in midweek during the Champions League group stage match in Spain.
The keeper might have saved a crucial penalty but apart from that he looked really lacklustre during the rest of the game and also looked to be at fault during Valencia’s second goal of the night.
While the fans and the pundits had come out to criticise Kepa Arizzabalaga after the game, it was Frank Lampard who had come out to stand by his keeper claiming the Valencia goal was a fluke and the goalkeeper could do very little about it.
‘It was certainly a fluke,’ Lampard said after the game[as quoted by The Metro].
‘He didn’t mean to score and that makes it more difficult for the goalkeeper because they don’t expect to go off the far top corner.
‘The cross came in too high for him. I know there might be the feeling he pulled his hands away, I’m not sure he would have got there anyway.
‘I will have to look at it again and Kepa will be the best one because he’s very honest with himself and if he feels he could have got it then I’m sure he would say that.
‘But we can’t look away from the penalty save. It wasn’t just a standard penalty save, it was a fantastic one and that’s what top keepers do to save you points.’
Despite backing him up publicly, there had been rumours that the Chelsea manager was not too pleased with Kepa Arizzabalaga and he had actually made plans of replacing him with Willy Caballero during the West Ham game on Saturday.
But speaking in his pre-match press conference, Lampard once again stood by his keeper and claiming he was more than happy with the Spaniard’s performances.
The manager told the press: ‘I’m happy. I know Kepa as a professional is a keeper who – and you can see it in his attitude and how he trains every day – is striving to be better, as he should do at his age and the status that he’s at.
‘He will want to get better all the time, and there have been a few instances this season where he would be the first one to say he can do better.
‘That’s football at the top level, but I’m happy with him and his work ethic.’