Chelsea finished the weekend in the Premier League relegation zone for the first time since September 2000, as they fell to a heavy defeat in the opening game of the 2019/20 season.

Manchester United ran out 4-0 winners on Sunday as Frank Lampard's Blues had no reply to a counter-attacking onslaught at Old Trafford.

Lampard himself was actually playing for West Ham the last time that Chelsea were stationed in the drop zone, not completing his move to Stamford Bridge until July 2001.


Claudio Ranieri was the Chelsea manager back in 2000, eventually leading a side that contained Jimmy Floyd Hasslebaink, Gianfranco Zola and Marcel Desailly to a sixth-place finish after a torrid start to the 2000/01 campaign. Lampard will hope for something similar as he aims for a top-six finish amid testing conditions.

Finally sacked in 2004 for Jose Mourinho, Ranieri survived the early relegation scare in 2000/01 and went on to manage Leicester to a Premier League title some years later.

Lampard will hope for a quick turnaround in fortunes for his young Blues side as they face Leicester on Sunday.

For large portions of the game on Sunday, Chelsea were arguably the better side and created multiple opportunities coming forward. They even hit the woodwork twice, through Tammy Abraham and Emerson Palmieri.


It was Man Utd though that came away with the three points as they counter-attacked with devastating effect, using the pace of Rashford, Martial and eventually James to effectively create chances on the break - all three ending up on the scoresheet at the end of the match.

There is still a long way for Frank Lampard to go however, as he continues to shape his Chelsea team and - if Ranieri's example is anything to go by - he shouldn't be written off just yet.