Frank Lampard was left frustrated for a number of reasons after our 2-0 loss to Manchester United, not least his team’s inefficiency in front of goal and a couple of decisions made by VAR.
Chelsea had two goals disallowed by technology and a possible red card decision in our favour not given, adding to the sense of annoyance at another home defeat when the Blues had dominated possession and had good chances to score.
The decisions taken and not taken by VAR were the major talking points afterwards and Lampard had his say, starting with Harry Maguire receiving no punishment for kicking Michy Batshuayi.
‘Maguire should get a red and then he scores a second goal,’ noted Lampard. ‘The game changes off that.
‘That was a major part of what VAR was brought in for, a second viewing, different angles. The referee can’t see all the angles, and if you’re not going to look at the monitor then you’re definitely not going to see it.
It’s harder to take with the presence of VAR than it would have been before. That is what it was brought in for. It’s very confusing when all the different angles still bring the wrong decision. It’s universally a wrong decision. It could be my opinion, but everyone I’ve spoken to, not just in our dressing room, but neutrals have said the same.
‘The Zouma goal should have stood,’ continued the boss. ‘At first I didn’t think it should, it looked like a shove from Azpilicueta, but when you see it again he gets shoved in the first place. It certainly wasn’t clear and obvious. And Giroud was offside.’
The manner of defeat again disappointed Lampard
‘I don’t like losing games, I don’t like the way we’re losing games. Particularly at home we’re losing games where we’ve had a big share of possession, big chances, lots of shots, and we’re not finishing them.
‘It’s a reality that’s getting clearer all the time. We’re not getting enough goals from striker areas, we’re not getting enough goals from wide areas. Not many teams can keep clean sheets week in, week out. You have to score goals to give you a feeling of superiority in the game.
‘We make a lot of chances, as many as any team in the league barring Liverpool, and we’re not finishing them.
‘We start a lot of games very well. I can hardly ever look at the team and go ‘we started slow, bit sloppy today’. But if you don’t score you leave teams in the game.
‘Today we had a couple of silly moments in terms of allowing them headers in our box, particularly the set-piece.
‘Manchester United are a fantastic counter-attacking team but they didn’t give us loads of problems on the counter-attack, couple of small ones you’d expect, but you give them two headers. That’s something we can’t do.’
Lampard considered if Michy Batshuayi is suffering from a lack of confidence
‘Confidence is part of football. The only way you get over confidence [issues] is by dedication and hard work. Every player will go through it no matter who you are. The only way to get through it is hard work.’
N’Golo Kante went off injured early on
‘It’s an abductor injury. We’ll have to assess it, scan it, but it doesn’t look great.’
A possible FFP punishment for Man City means there is a chance fifth place will get Champions League football next season
‘When there is a question mark or an appeal we can’t get ourselves caught up in what may be. All we can do is say we are fourth so it’s in our hands.
‘The gap has closed but I don’t think many expected us to be fourth at this stage of the season. The fight starts now. We can’t affect the Man City situation much. We’re in fourth place by a point, so the season starts here to that effect.’