Frank Lampard believes his Chelsea side haven’t needed to do too much to improve their defending since their opening defeat to Manchester United, but have improved with regards to individual defending.
Chelsea meet United for the second time tonight in the Carabao Cup [7.45pm KO].
It will be the first time they have played each other since the opening weekend, when United came away with an impressive 4-0 win at Old Trafford.
Since then, however, the fortunes of both sides have changed dramatically, with Chelsea emerging as one of the best attacking teams in the league, while United have faltered.
Chelsea have lost just once in the league since facing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side – against league leaders Liverpool – and are currently fourth in the table.
They are two points behind second-placed Manchester City, who in turn are six behind Jurgen Klopp’s Reds.
United, on the other hand, have been poor since beating Chelsea, and are wallowing in seventh place in the table.
Their win over Norwich on Sunday was their first win in five games, and one of just three all season.
And Lampard believes the opening day thrash doesn’t really prove much about either side, because he feels his side has improved defensively.
“Now people can look at it as we’ve improved since those early stages, and I’m sure we have, but sometimes I believe that fine lines do change games,” he said.
“They also change perceptions, and the perception of us in this early part of the season is that we’re conceding too many goals, which I agree with.
“But when you scratch beneath the surface, you see that in terms of chances conceded, and shots conceded on our goal, we’re in the top one, two or three, I think behind Liverpool and maybe City.