Third-placed Chelsea were second best throughout at Bramall Lane, with a limp defeat meaning Leicester City and Manchester United can leapfrog them with wins over Bournemouth and Southampton respectively.
Fifth may still be enough for Champions League football, depending on the outcome of Manchester City’s appeal against their two-year ban from the competition.
Frank Lampard is not concerned with Chelsea potentially being fifth in the Premier League by the time they next play but warned his side they cannot repeat the approach taken in Saturday’s 3-0 loss to Sheffield United.
The Blues’ Champions League ambitions were dented as a brace from David McGoldrick – one goal either side of Oli McBurnie’s header – sealed all three points for the Blades
Lampard told Sky Sports: “What we have to do now with that game is put that to bed because the only thing that matters now is that we fight for top four and we’re still in that race because of how we’ve been this season. We have to put this game away very quickly, but I learnt a lot.”
“That’s the reality of it but I’m not concerned so much about top four today,” Lampard replied when asked about dropping to fifth.”
“All I do is sit and watch all the games on TV and consider where we’re at and what we want to do, because, of course, I want to get there, but today I’m concerned about how we performed and I learnt a lot about that.”