Sunday, September 20, 2020

VAR favouring Man United of late – Lampard stokes fires ahead of FA Cup semi-final

SoccerNews in English Premier League 17 Jul 2020

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Frank Lampard has fanned the flames ahead of Chelsea’s FA Cup semi-final with Manchester United by suggesting Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have benefitted from VAR of late.

Lampard’s Blues face United at Wembley on Sunday in their fourth meeting of the season, with Chelsea having lost each of the previous three games in the Premier League or EFL Cup.

A Marcus Rashford penalty sent United on their way to a 4-0 victory back in August, one of 13 spot-kicks Solskjaer’s men have had in the Premier League this term.

The most recent one – won by Bruno Fernandes at Aston Villa – was particularly contentious, while United were perhaps fortunate that Victor Lindelof’s apparent foul on Wilfried Zaha was not reviewed by VAR in Thursday’s 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace.

Lampard noted that the introduction of VAR this season was supposed to remove any allegations of big-club bias, but he could not help but notice how the system has helped United recently.

“I suppose when you look back over days people would say [decisions] favour the big team, whether it’s pressure, whether it’s because of fan influence, I don’t know [but] those days are gone,” Lampard told reporters.

“VAR has come in to try and change, and not just favouring teams, but just to get the right decision.”

“There is always a human element to VAR, still, of course, clearly they have to make a decision.

“The confusing thing about some of the recent ones, and the one last night, is that it’s a very, very clear and obvious decision that was wrong that didn’t get reviewed and changed and a few of those have happened. That is strange.

“I would like to think that sometimes you maybe with VAR have to be level-headed. Some may go slightly against you or not. But it just seems a period where in terms of Manchester United, they’ve got a few in their favour. “

Lampard also insisted he is not motivated by revenge after the three defeats earlier in the campaign.

“I think it’s more than that,” he added.

“Knowing the circumstances of the games, and fair play we’ve lost three, that’s just a fact. I’m not into revenge and all these things.

“I just want to win the game that’s in front of us on Sunday against a very good team.”

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