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Chelsea denied key stepping stone in Frank Lampard rebuild... defensive signings are critical this summer

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It felt like everything that could wrong, did go wrong for Frank Lampard on what was a nightmare afternoon for Chelsea at Wembley.

After taking an early lead through Christian Pulisic, their defensive frailties were exposed yet again as a long ball over the top caught out Cesar Azpilicueta and he conceded a penalty which Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang converted.

Chelsea then lost captain Azpilicueta to a hamstring injury and things went from bad to worse in the second half. Pulisic ripped his hamstring within minutes of the restart and Aubameyang put Arsenal ahead.

From the moment Chelsea were reduced to 10 men when Mateo Kovacic was harshly sent off for two yellow cards, it never looked it would be their day.

They ended with nine players after substitute Pedro suffered a shoulder injury, which summed a bad evening.

So many things went wrong for Frank Lampars and Chelsea during their FA Cup Final defeat by Arsenal at Wembley (POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Defeat against Arsenal should not detract from what has been a brilliant first season for Frank Lampard back at Chelsea.

It is important to look at the bigger picture, but it is hard to escape the feeling that winning the FA Cup would have been an important stepping stone in his plans to make the Blues title contenders again.

Chelsea have been serial trophy winners in the Roman Abramovich era and this was a bitter pill to swallow.

Lampard will know Chelsea need defensive reinforcements before they can even think about challenging Liverpool and Manchester City for the title.

They were caught out for both Arsenal goals and Lampard will surely press the Chelsea board to sign a centre-back and a left-back this summer.

It was a heartbreaking end to the season for Christian Pulisic. The American has been arguably the best player in England since football restarted but he limped off with a hamstring injury that could leave him a doubt for the start of next season.

The 2020-21 campaign kicks off on September 12, giving Pulisic six weeks to get fit. The midfielder will have his injury assessed over the coming days but the issue will be a major concern to Lampard.

If Chelsea are going to close the gap on Liverpool and Manchester City next season, then Pulisic will be key. If he is missing for the start of next season it would be a major blow.




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