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For First Time Since 1993, Chelsea Loses Fifth Consecutive Match


Wednesday’s 2-0 victory by Brentford at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League marked Chelsea’s fifth consecutive defeat since the hiring of Frank Lampard as interim manager.

Cesar Azpilicueta’s own goal in the first half gave the visitors the lead, and substitute Bryan Mbeumo added a second when he raced half the length of the field unopposed and slammed home a finish to extend Chelsea’s winless streak at home to six games in all competitions.

In its last seven games, Chelsea has scored just one goal and has failed to win any of its last eight.

If Mauricio Pochettino is certified as Graham Potter’s permanent replacement by the time Chelsea plays Arsenal on Tuesday, the club will have employed four different managers since its last victory.

Six points behind 10th-place Fulham, Chelsea may now struggle to finish in the top half of the Premier League.

“This club has experienced a great deal of success in recent years, and this is a difficult time,” said Lampard, who has lost three Premier League games and twice in the Champions League to Real Madrid since being reinstated as interim manager.

“We would adore a magic wand and a magical moment, but the Premier League is too difficult for that to occur. We must strive for our opportunity.

“The tale is the same — keep going and working. This is not an easy time of the season for a club that is accustomed to winning frequently.”

Chelsea started slowly and continued to decline. Ben Chilwell’s powerful surge down the left flank in the first half, after receiving a deft first-touch pass from Conor Gallagher, elicited perhaps the only tremor of anticipation around Stamford Bridge.

Chilwell’s low cross was intercepted, and the lone glimmer of attacking intent from either side in the opening twenty minutes of play dissipated without danger.

As Chelsea looked for a path through, N’Golo Kante appeared on the right sideline and bent over an inviting cross. Up from the back and free inside the penalty area, Thiago Silva got his head on the ball, but his attempt lacked force and found only David Raya’s gloves.

The first genuine challenge for the Brentford goalkeeper came at the half-hour mark when Kante controlled the ball inside the box following a cutback by Wesley Fofana and passed it to Enzo Fernandez.

The World Cup champion, still without a goal since his record-breaking transfer to Stamford Bridge, struck too close to Raya, who deflected it away.

Mathias Jorgensen flicked the corner kick taken by Mathias Jensen, and Azpilicueta was helpless as the ball deflected off him and past Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang emerged from the substitutes in the second half after being frozen out by successive managers. His entry appeared to infuse Chelsea’s attack with vitality.

Kante fired just wide from a tight angle shortly after the resumption of play, before Aubameyang created space for a shot that was aimed directly at Raya.

For the second goal, Mbeumo took up the ball just inside the Chelsea half before advancing into the penalty area. Mbeumo buried Chelsea with a left-footed shot inside the near post.

The jubilant away fans chanted,

“West London is ours” as the departing home supporters streamed out of the stadium.

“The game’s details are fairly clear,” Lampard said. “Our belief at the summit of the pitch is lacking. This is not a sob story, but the odds are stacked against us. Even though we didn’t create many opportunities, we were always in control of that game.

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