Frank Lampard opted for a 3-4-3 formation in the 3-1 win over Manchester United, but while the system could be a temporary solution for Chelsea, it’s not the long-term answer.

It was a comfortable victory for the Blues as they limited Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side to just three shots on target throughout the game.

An extra defender relieved the two midfielders; Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho, from the positional duty of sitting in front of the defence and allowed them the freedom to roam.

The likes of Reece James and especially Marcos Alonso also benefitted from the system since both enjoy making the forward runs.

Hard-working Mason Mount and Willian helped prevent Manchester United from building from the back, while Olivier Giroud provided the crucial aerial prowess.

However, the 3-4-3 also has its disadvantages which could pose problems for Lampard in the long-term.

(Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Too many midfielders at Lampard’s disposal

One of the obvious advantages of three at the back means Chelsea can afford to have one of the centre-backs (usually Antonio Rudiger or Cesar Azpilicueta) to pressure the attackers as soon as they receive the ball.

The extra man also reduces the space in front of their goal, a big plus considering Chelsea are prone to counter attacks this season.

However, this come at the expense of numbers in midfield.

Lampard has more options in midfield than any other area on the pitch; Mateo Kovacic, Jorginho, N’Golo Kante, Mason Mount, Ross Barkley, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Billy Gilmour.

Making them compete for two midfield spots week in, week out, just doesn’t sound like a viable option.

Another problem would be creativity and chance creation.

(Photo by Chris Lee – Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Reliant on wide players to create chances

Despite the three goals scored against United, Chelsea made just one big chance in that game.

Jorginho and Kovacic recorded zero key passes which suggest they relied on the wide players to create goalscoring opportunities.

Against Manchester United who also started with three at the back may have worked, but when facing teams with low-blocks Chelsea have struggled with, it could be a different story.

Lampard could stick with the three at the back against Liverpool given Jurgen Klopp’s side have scored the most goals from counter-attacks this season (nine, joint with Leicester City — Whoscored).

Having it as a default system rather than a trump card would not be the best option, however.

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