Brentford condemned Chelsea to their fifth defeat in five games in all competitions under interim coach, Frank Lampard, on Wednesday as an own goal by Blues’ captain Cesar Azpilicueta and a second-half strike by Bryan Mbeumo handed the Bees a 2-0 win in the Premier League.
The loss left toothless Chelsea 11th in the Premier League table, stumbling towards possibly their worst campaign since the 1993/94 season – when they finished 14th under Glenn Hoddle – despite their new U.S. owners’ huge outlay on players.
Brentford went ahead when defender Mathias Jorgensen headed on a corner at the near post and the ball struck Azpilicueta and went in after 37 minutes, before the visitors had even had a shot of their own on target.
Lampard – Chelsea’s third coach this season after the dismissals of Thomas Tuchel and Graham Potter – brought on winger Mykhailo Mudryk and striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at halftime as he sought to end a goal drought that has now seen the London side score only once in seven games in all competitions.
But it was substitute Mbeumo who showed the Blues how to do it in the 78th minute when he drifted in from the right and his fiercely hit shot was deflected beyond Kepa Arrizabalaga.
The three points pushed Brentford up a spot to ninth in the league, eight points ahead of their big-spending west London neighbours for whom this season cannot finish quickly enough. Media reports said Chelsea were close to hiring former Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino as coach from next season.