CHELSEA keeper Kepa blundered again – but Frank Lampard insisted he is ‘very happy’ with him.
The most expensive keeper ever had yet another night to forget against Brighton as he let Leandro Trossard’s shot slide under his arm.
Kepa’s latest howler allowed the Seagulls to equalise at 1-1 in the 54th minute.
Trossard’s strike from outside the box made its way into the corner but the former Athletic Bilbao shot-stopper had plenty of time to get across.
However, Lampard still gave his backing to his under-fire player.
Speaking to Sky Sports at the end of the game, he said: “I am very happy with Kepa.
“With the shot I’m not sure if he could’ve done any better.
“But I saw a bit more confidence in how he was playing. Kepa is here, he’s our keeper and I’m happy with him.
“If we are bringing in competition, it will be competition. That’s the nature of Chelsea and it goes throughout the squad.”
Kepa’s blushes were spared by two of his defenders as Lampard’s Blues escaped with a 3-1 victory from the Amex.
Reece James scored a long-range screamer to regain the lead for the West Londoners after Jorginho converted a first-half penalty won by new boy Timo Werner.
And Kurt Zouma’s shot took a large deflection to put Chelsea out of reach in the 66th minute.
Since his 2018 arrival, Kepa has conceded more goals from outside the box (18) than any other keeper.
The £71million man is set to have new competition for the No1 spot with Rennes keeper Edouard Mendy thought to be on his way to Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea are set to make history by raiding Petr Cech’s old club and splashing £27.7m on Mendy – making him Ligue 1’s most expensive keeper ever.
Supporters were unforgiving of Kepa’s most recent mishap despite securing the three points.
One said: “We will not win the league with Kepa in goal.”
Another added: “Kepa needs to get his head in the game. He needs to work on his confidence that’s for certain.”
A fan let rip by tweeting: “Goalkeeping error away from a clean sheet. Poor again by Kepa!”
Pundit Gary Neville disagreed with Lampard and said: “I don’t think he is [happy]. I wouldn’t be.
“I know full well having been in a coaching position and in a dressing room – you have to back your keeper, you have to back your players publicly.
“Privately, that goal tonight, it’s a really poor goal to give away.
“If you don’t have a top goalkeeper you won’t win the league.
“It’s just a really weak shot from outside the box – he sees it from a long way, I don’t know what happens, I don’t know why he’s misread it.”
“Nineteen goals conceded from outside the box and that is a sorry story for a £70m keeper.”
Jamie Carragher added: “Chelsea very rarely get done in the transfer market.
“They’ve been done, he’s never a £70m goalkeeper.
“They panicked because they lost a goalkeeper and missed out on Alisson.
“They had to pay top dollar at the last minute. He’s just nowhere near that level.”