Chelsea boss Frank Lampard this evening provided updates on the fitness of both Reece James and Hakim Ziyech, on the back of his side’s defeat to Aston Villa.
El-Ghazi cancels out Giroud
The Blues welcomed Dean Smith’s men to Stamford Bridge a short time ago, for their latest Premier League outing.
Chelsea of course headed into proceedings in search of a bounce-back result, on the back of a dismal spell of form of late.
The capital giants had fallen to defeat in 3 of their prior 4 league outings before this evening, a run which saw Lampard’s outfit slip to 8th in the English top-flight table.
LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 26: Bukayo Saka of Arsenal celebrates after scoring his team’s third goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Emirates Stadium on December 26, 2020 in London, England. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Andrew Boyers – Pool/Getty Images)
When all was said and done in southwest London a short time ago, however, the Pensioners again failed to get things back on track.
Olivier Giroud did hand Chelsea the lead late in the first-half, after getting on the end of Ben Chilwell’s delivery from the left to nod home a trademark header.
Villa, though, soon worked their way back into proceedings, levelling things up shortly after the interval through Anwar El-Ghazi.
The two sides exchanged chances as the ensuing 40 minutes played out, but, upon the final whistle sounding, neither had managed to bag an all-important 2nd, as the clash played out into a 1-1 stalemate.
Highlights: Chelsea 1-1 Aston Villa
James & Ziyech latest
Chelsea’s failure to get back to winning ways, in turn, could see the Blues fall a full 6 points adrift of the Premier League’s top-4, once those sitting clear of Frank Lampard’s men have played out their fixtures in hand.
Their latest disappointing result, however, comes as far from the only concern for the capital outfit on Monday night.
Speaking to the media on the back of proceedings coming to a close at Stamford Bridge, Lampard was inevitably drawn on Reece James’ surprise absence from his matchday squad to take on Villa.
And the Chelsea boss went on to confirm that his first-choice right-back has picked up a hamstring injury:
Lampard says Reece James has a small hamstring issue #CFC
— Simon Johnson (@SJohnsonSport) December 28, 2020
Later in his press conference, meanwhile, Lampard also provided an update on Hakim Ziyech.
Moroccan international Ziyech has missed the club’s last 6 outings, after picking up a hamstring injury versus Leeds earlier this month.
In a timely boost for all associated with the Blues, though, the former Ajax man could return to action this weekend, when Chelsea are scheduled to take on Covid-19-hit Manchester City:
— James Robson (@jamesrobsonES) December 28, 2020