Chelsea boss Frank Lampard raged at the ‘clear’ VAR decision that did not result in a red card for Harry Maguire, and made an emphatic statement about Chelsea’s season from this point on.
The Blues came into the night with pressure on after fellow Champions League hopefuls Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal both picked up victories at the weekend.
Almost everything that could go wrong did go wrong for the home team, with multiple VAR decisions going against them as well as midfield geenral N’Golo Kante limping off after just 10 minutes through injury.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Lampard spoke passionately about the performance and result.
The Blues manager said: “Tough to take on lots of levels, some footballing, some others.
“It’s football and it’s life. I’m not complaining about any work ethic from the lads, their heads are down in there. It’s a tough night for us.
“It’s not a 2-0 game. We have a feeling of groundhog day in the stadium. I don’t know how many shots we had but it was a lot.
“If we don’t score, you can’t win football games. They get clearer every week. We are fourth and the season starts here. People didn’t expect us to be fourth but we are.
“We are fourth because of some of the good stuff we have done and because of the nature of the league with everyone taking points off each other.
“I’m not soft, I can criticise the team. We can bemoan our luck sometimes yes but if we are not finishing chances we can’t win games. I feel like a broken record.
“It was a tough night for Batshuayi, strikers are judged on goals, it’s a fact. We need goals from forward areas and we haven’t had that this season.
“We can’t rely on Tammy Abraham all season. You get judged as an attacker on goals.”
Utd centre-half Maguire was fortunate to not see red after appearing to kick out to the groin area of Batshuayi.
The scene was reminiscent of the one that saw Spurs’ Son Heung-min sent off – also versus Chelsea – in December.
“Harry Maguire should have been sent off, that’s clear, and that obviously changes the game,” added Lampard.
“Azpilicueta gets shoved so the goal should stand. Giroud was a toenail offside and that one I understand. that’s the rule now.
“I don’t get why they aren’t looking at the monitor. It should be used.”