‘It was a clear Penalty’, Chelsea’s Frank Lampard laments over VAR decision

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Chelsea’s coach, Frank Lampard is not too excited that his team did not score any goal at Old Trafford despite having the opportunity to do so if the Video Assistant Referee had worked in the club’s favor.

Lampard led Chelsea to Old Trafford on Saturday to play against Manchester United that have been suffering a series of bad runs at their home stadium. Unfortunately for the Blues, they met a more discipline United’s defense that won’t let in any goal.

The match which a former player of Manchester United, Patrice Evra described as “boring” because both teams were too careful to come all out to play, ended 0-0 after 90 minutes.

But a moment in the match which was so important for Frank Lampard was the moment Manchester United’s captain, Harry Maguire fouled on the captain of Chelsea Cesar Azpilicueta in the first half of the match.

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Harry Maguire was seen forcing Azpilicueta to the ground with his two hands wrapped around the defender’s neck in the eighteen-yard box. The center-referee, Martin Atkinson, didn’t catch it and he also failed to go and review it on the VAR side monitor despite Azpilicueta’s agitation.

“I thought it was a clear penalty,” Lampard said. “Holding is allowed, but headlocks aren’t.

“I didn’t see it at the time from where I’m standing. They are hard calls for referees on the pitch, but the VAR was very quick to dismiss it in my opinion.

“I think they should have taken the time and advised the referee to watch the monitor. If the referee goes to the monitor, he gives a penalty.”

Here is the foul Frank Lampard is talking about.
Cesar Azpilicueta being forced to the ground by Harry Maguire

While Cesar Azpilicueta said: “On the pitch, I felt that it was [a penalty],” the Chelsea captain told Sky Sports. “I was in front of him and felt both arms around my neck and shoulders.

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“For me, the referee can’t make the decision. The VAR is there and it’s difficult for the VAR to say yes or no. I told Martin Atkinson to go to the monitor. They are the men to make the decision, so he has to take the decision. The monitor is there for him to help. Sometimes it’s 50/50 – like I felt this was. Why not take 20 seconds to go and view it? It’s a little improvement from VAR moving forward.

“It happens and it’s football. Not every time there is a contact it should be a penalty. In England especially, you have strong contacts, physical contacts and it’s mainly if you don’t have the intention of playing the ball. I think football and especially in the Premier League with all the great players we have, we have to seek improvements. It’s not a criticism, we can all help together to make a better league.”

The draw has left Chelsea in the 6th spot on the league table with 9 points in 6 games. So far, the club has lost a game, drew three, and won two. Also, the Saturday’s match has left Manchester United in the 15th spot with 7 points in 5 games. They have won two games, drew one, and lost one so far in the season.

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