Lampard: Derby hard done by because of VAR
Rams manager says Chelsea's winner should be disallowed due to 'blatant foul'
Frank Lampard hit out at the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), after a clear foul in the build up to Chelsea's winner over second-tier Derby County in the League Cup went undetected yesterday morning (Singapore time).
Derby manager Lampard, who enjoyed 13 hugely successful years as a Chelsea player, watched his side put up a brave fight against their English Premier League opponents, twice levelling the match after calamitous own goals but eventually lost 3-2, Reuters reported.
On-loan Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori missed his attempted clearance and watched in horror as the ball ricocheted off his standing leg and deflected into the net to put the hosts ahead after five minutes.
Derby equalised when Jack Marriott made the most of a slip-up from Chelsea defender Gary Cahill to finish calmly into the far corner, but fell behind again as Richard Keogh poked a Davide Zappacosta cross from the right into his own net.
Derby refused to lie down and Martyn Waghorn's close-range finish gave them renewed hope.
But Cesc Fabregas stroked home at the near post four minutes before half-time to make it 3-2, angering the visiting players, who felt there had been an obvious shove by Zappacosta on Tom Lawrence in front of the linesman in the build-up.
Instead of giving Derby a free-kick, Chelsea were awarded a throw-in, from which Fabregas hit the winner.
Lampard said: "The fourth official said it was off the pitch. The VAR looked at it. I've looked at it and the ball wasn't off the pitch, the foul wasn't off the pitch, so it was blatantly a foul.
"I turned around thinking we'd got the foul... VAR should clear up the ones that go slightly wrong. It didn't tonight... I'm disappointed. We deserved a draw on chances created."
Lampard, whose name was chanted by the home supporters throughout the match, added that he was thankful to the Chelsea fans.
"I have nothing but great memories of this place and they thank me like that," he said.
"I really appreciate the fans and I said thank you to them at the end.I'm a lucky man to get support at both ends."
Meanwhile, Chelsea assistant manager Gianfranco Zola was full of praise for Mason Mount and Tomori after the two Chelsea loanees impressed for Derby at Stamford Bridge, the Daily Mail reported.
The Blues had granted dispensation for the pair to play against their parent club yesterday.
"He was unlucky with the own-goal, but his overall performance was excellent," Zola said of Tomori.
"It happens (the own-goal), but he played well. Mount was excellent too. It looks like they're in good hands. They're doing very well for the team. The coaching they're getting is excellent."
Chelsea survived a few close shaves towards the end of the contest and Zola, whose side will face Bournemouth at home in the quarter-finals, felt there was room for improvement.
"More than a little bit shaky, to be honest," said the Italian.
"Especially towards the end. A lot is down to them. They played really well and surprised us, played with a lot of quality.
"A lot was down to us. The passing wasn't as sharp as it normally is, and the last 10-15 minutes we lost control."