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Frank Lampard says VAR excuse 'not good enough' after Giovani Lo Celso avoids red card
VAR officials at Stockley Park conceded 'human error' to blame for incorrect decision
Last Updated: 23/02/20 10:04am
Frank Lampard blasted the video assistant referee for failing to advise a red card for Giovani Lo Celso during Chelsea's win over Tottenham and said the incident raises "more question marks" about how the technology is being used in the Premier League.
Lampard had already complained about VAR earlier this week, when Manchester United's Harry Maguire escaped a red card after a review and Kurt Zouma's apparent equaliser during the defeat was ruled out for a push from Cesar Azpilicueta.
- Chelsea 2-1 Tottenham - Match report and highlights
- VAR admits error over Le Celso stamp
- How the teams lined up
Azpilicueta was at the centre of the action again on Saturday when Lo Celso's challenge left him with stud marks on his shin - however, VAR David Coote advised referee Michael Oliver no punishment was necessary for the Spurs midfielder.
The officials at Stockley Park then conceded that decision from the VAR was incorrect before Chelsea's 2-1 win over Tottenham had even finished, blaming 'human error'. But Lampard had little sympathy with that excuse.
"Everybody knew they'd made a mistake," he said. "We obviously have the monitor and can view it. I was waiting for the red card to be shown. Not with real pleasure because it's just a tackle which endangers a player.
"That's what VAR was brought in for, to see things the referees on the pitch side don't see. And it's just not good enough.
"Saying afterwards that they made a mistake isn't good enough because they had minutes, they took a couple of minutes to try to get it right. They probably needed one viewing of that one to get it right. So I don't know what more to say - just another huge question mark on VAR.
"I want VAR to be good, I want it to work. It's a high-speed game, the referees have the toughest job around and VAR is brought in to help them and make the game better and it was so wrong today. More question marks.
"This one doesn't need the monitor. It's a clear decision. A human decision. Stockley Park, red card. Game goes on."
Mourinho: 'I hope it's the same noise'
Meanwhile, Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho questioned why officials at Stockley Park hadn't also apologised for errors he believes they have made against his team this season.
"I hope the noise is the same noise of when the VAR kills us," he said. "I hope the noise is exactly the same. I hope the noise is exactly the same against Liverpool when [Andrew] Robertson should get a red card and didn't, against Watford when [Etienne] Capoue should get the red card twice with this gentleman, [referee] Michael Olivier, I hope that the noise is the same noise.
"Why didn't they say when they made the mistake against Liverpool and Watford? That's what I mean by the same noise."
Lampard's top-four boost
The incident didn't prevent Chelsea from going on to beat their London rivals and strengthen their hold on fourth place and for Lampard it was a satisfying result, given his side's struggles at home this season. This was just their sixth Premier League win at Stamford Bridge.
"There's a slight disappointment with their goal, it makes the result look a bit different, it gave us a nervous few minutes but the performance levels of the team, attitude of the team, I can't ask for anymore," he said. "Maybe another goal or so to put it to bed earlier.
"It's been a tough period for us at home, we know that. The last couple of days have been spent finding the reasons why, because I can't keep saying we're playing well and losing games, it doesn't work, so we had to find the reason why.
"A lot of it for me was a mentality in both boxes, focus in every moment of the game, and they gave me everything today."
Mourinho: It's going to be three long months
"I would love to be on 1 July," added the Tottenham boss.
"I'd love to be in pre-season working with Harry Kane, with Moussa Sissoko, with Sonny [Heung-min Son] but that's not possible and we have three long months to go. But I think the boys will learn a lot from that, they will learn about reliance, they will learn about effort, they will learn about going on the limit. A very difficult experience for the boys but a good experience for the future."