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Carabao Cup was not a priority for Chelsea, says Lampard

5:48 AM GMT 31/10/2019
Frank Lampard Chelsea
The Blues boss played down defeat to the Red Devils, saying the club has other things to keep their eye on

Chelsea coach Frank Lampard has attempted to put aside the 2-1 Carabao Cup defeat to Manchester United by insisting the club is more focused on other competitions.

The Blues were knocked out of the tournament at Stamford Bridge by the Red Devils at the round-of-16 stage, ending a seven match winning streak, with Marcus Rashford scoring before and after Michy Batshuayi's equaliser.

When asked if it was a blow to be eliminated from the competition, Lampard praised his team's recent performances and made it clear he had rotated his squad with eyes on other matches.

"We've had seven wins on the trot," Lampard said. "We've had taxing games in the Champions League. We want to get into the next stage of that." 

"Our form in the league has been really good. They're the priorities. But we want to win matches and give everything.

"Today, I had to look at my squad and who deserves minutes. The young players. The competition has an element of that for us."

Despite the loss, Lampard was pleased with the performances of several youngsters, as the likes of Marc Guehi, Reece James and Billy Gilmour got a run out.

The English manager admitted his detest of defeats but urged his players to switch their attention to upcoming matches.

"I saw a lot of things that were good for us for the future," Lampard said. "A lot of positive things about us.

"I hate losing. We all do here. But there's a big picture here and a lot of big games to come, and a busy fixture list. Now we focus on what happens next."

Rashford's two goals both came from set pieces, with his first from the penalty spot because a stunning free-kick from 35 yards ended up as the match-winner.

Lampard, a master set-piece taker as a player himself, was full of praise for Rashford's rocket and believed his team was on top until the England international struck.

"It’s great technique - we’ve seen Rashford hits balls with a similar technique [previously]," Lampard said. 

"They don’t always go in the top corner, but it was a stunning strike. Take nothing away from him.

"We were in the ascendancy, with Mason and Pedro on with fresh legs, but when they got in front they had a lead to defend."

Chelsea's next match is in the Premier League at strugglers Watford on Saturday.