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Chelsea boss Lampard hails defensive improvement; questions VAR decision
Frank Lampard says the defensive improvement shown by his Chelsea side in recent games is “a great thing” after they kept a clean sheet at Manchester United.
The Blues played out a 0-0 draw with the Red Devils but had to show some resilience at the back as their opponents pushed forward to find a winner.
Summer signings Edouard Mendy and Thiago Silva both made crucial contributions, denying the likes of Marcus Rashford and Edinson Cavani.
It was Chelsea’s second shut out of the week having also been involved in a goalless draw with Sevilla on Tuesday.
And despite admitting to being slightly frustrated with what his team showed in attack, Lampard was clearly pleased with the progress his backline is making.
Speaking to Sky Sports, he said: “That speaks for itself with results like that. The big man [Mendy] made saves in goal, Thiago [Silva] was imperious or whatever you want to say with his experience and quality. Azpi [Cesar Azpilicueta] next to him is the captain.
“I think the personnel in there playing, defending, doing the right things and making the right decisions is a great thing for us.
“It’s a base, [but] we want more. It’s not a beautiful feeling in the dressing room, it’s not because we know we can play better going forward.
“But again, we can certainly be happy with some of the things we’re seeing defensively now.”
Lampard also believes that Chelsea should have been awarded a penalty in the first half. Azpilicueta was held in the box by Harry Maguire, denying him the chance to attack a corner.
Chelsea players appealed for a spot-kick, however it was missed by the on-field referee. VAR officials, meanwhile, checked the incident and decided it was not a foul.
Asked after the match if he thought otherwise, Lampard said: “Without a doubt. I’m interested to see what everyone else says because I spoke to the lads about how many penalties they [Manchester United] get here over the last few seasons, they’re miles ahead in Europe.
“It’s a really clear penalty. VAR is here for those decisions, they’re not always easy on the eye straight away for the referee on the pitch, I completely get that.
“But, I don’t understand why it didn’t get given. When you see the image and when you see the sort of headlock that he’s in, so [it’s] surprising.
“They had time to look at that, as long as they want, sometimes they take three minutes but this one was doing very quickly and moved on.”
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