- Maguire admits ‘catching’ Michy Batshuayi off the ball
- ‘I don’t like the way we’re losing games,’ says Lampard
Frank Lampard said after Chelsea’s 2-0 defeat against Manchester United that he believed Harry Maguire should have been sent off.
Television replays showed the United central defender appearing to kick out at Michy Batshuayi as the pair tangled off the field in the first half. The incident was reviewed by video technology and no card was given; to compound Chelsea’s chagrin Maguire went on to score United’s second goal.
“Maguire should have been sent off,” Lampard said. ”That’s clear, and that obviously changes the game. It’s just a wrong decision – everyone I’ve spoken to has said the same. Which I suppose is harder to take with the presence of VAR. Decisions like that are crucial. That’s a major part of what VAR was brought in for: a second viewing, different angles. I don’t get why they aren’t looking at the monitor. It should be used.”
Maguire defended his actions by claiming that his kick at Batshuayi was a form of pre-emptive strike. “I know I caught him,” Maguire admitted. “I felt he was going to fall on me, and my natural reaction was to straighten my leg to stop him. It wasn’t a kick-out and I had no intent to hurt him. I apologised to him, and it was nice that the referee [Anthony Taylor] saw sense.”
United’s win reignites the battle for fourth place, with only three points separating Chelsea, United and Tottenham (as well as Sheffield United in sixth place). “I don’t like the way we’re losing games,” Lampard said. “With lots of possession, lots of shots at goal and we’re not finishing them.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjær was delighted with the win but not entirely happy with United’s performance. “I didn’t think we played particularly well,” he said. “Particularly with the ball. In the first half we were cumbersome, slow, the passing wasn’t great. But we got the first goal and hung in there.”
Solskjær also brushed off Mino Raiola’s comments about Paul Pogba. Raiola, the agent of Pogba, claimed earlier on Monday that Pogba was “not Solskjær’s property” and appeared to suggest that Solskjær had broken promises to the player in the summer. “People can say whatever they want on social media,” Solskjær retorted. “I don’t really need to say anything.”