Frank Lampard has overachieved at Chelsea this season: Pundits’ top-four predictions prove it

p1ee6gr4qjb1r1uoaa0ltds97h.jpg

The top-four race went right to the wire this season but, in the end, it was Manchester United and Chelsea who got over the line.

United finished third in the table after beating fellow top-four hopefuls Leicester City 2-0 at the King Power Stadium on Sunday.

Chelsea, meanwhile, clinched fourth spot with a 2-0 victory over Wolves at Stamford Bridge.

Two goals on the stroke of half-time from Mason Mount and Olivier Giroud earned the Blues three invaluable points.

But despite the achievement of sealing a top-four finish, Chelsea boss Frank Lampard refused to get too carried away after the final whistle.

“I suppose at Chelsea we have to be careful getting excited by top-four finishes, but coming into the job, I don't think a lot of people put us in that bracket,” he was quoted saying by the Daily Mail.

“We know where we are at, it is a progress and can we get better and now we've secured top four can we look to improve to close that gap?

“The gap is there for a reason and there because Manchester City and Liverpool have taken it to different levels.”

p1ee6fub1q13dh1b171s34oca1pgo9.jpg

Lampard is absolutely spot on, though, when he says few people expected his side to finish inside the top four at the beginning of the season.

Chelsea had lost their best player, Eden Hazard, to Real Madrid, which felt like a hammer-blow to Lampard’s chances in his debut season as the club’s manager.

A transfer ban also meant Lampard was powerless to improve his squad.

p1ee6g226312l21qvr1brv417n0jb.jpg

Pundits feared for Lampard given the circumstances, including his own cousin, Jamie Redknapp.

“If you think Frank Lampard should finish in the top four and win a cup, I’m sorry you’re deluded,” he said on Sky Sports during the opening weeks of the campaign.

But anyone ‘deluded’ enough to think that was a serious possibility is now halfway towards being proven right.

The top-four finish is in the bag and Lampard’s side now turn their attention to next weekend’s FA Cup final against Arsenal.

Redknapp was far from the only pundit who felt that top four would probably be too big of an ask for the west London outfit.

Check out this screenshot, which shows every BBC Sport pundits’ top-four prediction from the start of the campaign.

Of the 21 pundits who submitted their predictions, only three - Matt Upson, Ruud Gullit and Mark Schwarzer - tipped Chelsea to make the cut.

p1ee6hbvde1ra81eicsnh1rqs1fmo9.jpg

This is clear evidence, if it was needed, that Lampard has overachieved this season.

And now he has finally been able to improve his squad - bringing in Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner, with Kai Havertz believed to be the next arrival - it’ll be fascinating to see how much the talented young English coach can achieve next term.

2020-21 Premier League champions? We’ve certainly heard more deluded shouts.

News Now - Sport News