It’s no surprise, but Frank Lampard agrees with the majority of people who watched Monday’s match between Chelsea and Manchester United that VAR cost the Blues at least a point, if not all three points.
Harry Maguire should’ve been sent off for a kick to the groin of Michy Batshuayi, and VAR also missed the shove before the shove on Brandon Williams that negated a Chelsea equalizer in a 2-0 loss at Stamford Bridge.
Here’s what Lampard had to say about both incidents:
“Decisions are crucial. Maguire should get a red. I think that is what VAR was brought in for. I think the Zouma one should have stood: Azpilicueta was shoved.
“It is just the wrong decision. That is what it was brought in for. It is very confusing. I think everyone I have spoken to has said it.”
It would have changed the game entirely, and the fact that Maguire went on to score the crucial second goal was just an added kick in the teeth.”
We’ve only got a few days to regroup now before we take on Tottenham. We’re creaking and risking falling apart. Lampard will have to swallow this cruel decision and try to move the team on from it.”
Lampard acknowledged that Olivier Giroud was just offside on his goal, but that’s about all the manager was willing to give the officials on the day.
The Chelsea manager also said that N’Golo Kante has an adductor injury and that “it doesn’t look good,” while injured Christian Pulisic will not be ready for a massive top four tilt this weekend versus Tottenham Hotspur.
Lampard’s constant gripe this season has been a lack of cutting edge to accompany some neat approach play and plentiful possession – and so it proved again here.
As they continued a slump that has brought only one win in six league games, Chelsea again paid a heavy price for once more failing to make the most of the opportunities that presented themselves.
With Tammy Abraham sidelined through injury, responsibility fell on Batshuayi – but the Belgium striker looked short of confidence and drew Stamford Bridge’s wrath when he missed two first-half chances.
The experienced Giroud looked more threatening when he came on but it was too late for Chelsea, who came up short again.
These are difficult times for Lampard as he must find a way to drag Chelsea out of their current form, find a way to get his strikers scoring and deal with a dilemma over his goalkeeper – with £71m keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga clearly behind 38-year-old Caballero.
It means the stakes are high in the battle for top-four places when Jose Mourinho’s Spurs visit Stamford Bridge on Saturday lunchtime.