Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hit back at the comments made by Chelsea manager Frank Lampard ahead of the Emirates FA Cup semi-final clash at Wembley on Sunday between the two teams. Lampard, a Chelsea legend with 648 appearances and 211 goals made the claim that VAR favoured United at this moment in time. United have had seven goals scored against them chalked off by the video assistant referee, which The Sun state is a league high.
On Thursday evening when United beat Crystal Palace 2-0 at Selhurst Park, Jordan Ayew scored once against against United, like he did earlier in the season but VAR cancelled the goal for offside. Palace chairman Steve Parish tweeted; “Is the VAR broken ? Serious question …”. During his press conference on Friday morning, Lampard labelled cartoon VAR decisions as confusing. On hearing the suggestions that VAR favours United, reported by The Sun, Solskjaer stated:
“I can sit here for hours now and try to talk about this. It looks like there’s a narrative, it looks like people want to influence whoever’s making the decisions. I hear people talking about luck, that we’ve been lucky more than unlucky.
“If you look at the factual decisions, I don’t want to sound like a certain manager talking about facts, but if you’re offside, you’re offside.
“That’s clear. Talking about lucky, the penalty we got against Tottenham in the last minute that was taken away from us, that might be two points for us.
“Talking about the red card Romeu should have had against us when he almost got Mason Greenwood crippled, that should’ve been a red card, maybe that would’ve helped us.
“Talking about Mark Noble when he should have been sent off against us when we lost at West Ham, talking about the actual decision that is made that is against Manchester United but is overturned and corrected.
“So it’s actually me that should be complaining that we get decisions against us on the pitch by the on-pitch referee.”
Lampard was asked his opinion ahead of Chelsea’s clash with United at Wembley in the FA Cup with him giving a good suggestion of the issue as VAR has not been the best. Granted, United might have had more conceded goals chalked off this season, in the Premier League, but if a goal is not a goal, it is not a goal. VAR is there to get rid of the things that should not be missed by referees and after a period of time, things will iron out a little. Lampard, reported by The Sun, said:
“People said it would favour big teams maybe, because of the pressure or fan influence.
“But those days are gone. VAR has come in to try and change that, not just favouring teams but just to get the right decision.
“But there is always a human element to VAR, still, and clearly they have to make a decision.
“The confusing thing about some of the recent ones, and the one on Thursday night, is that it’s a very, very clear and obvious decision that was wrong and didn’t get reviewed and changed.
“A few of those have happened and that is strange. I would like to think that with VAR you have to be level headed.
“Some might go against you or not, but we seem to be in a period where, in terms of Manchester United, they’ve got a few in their favour. It would be nice if VAR worked in our favour in this one.”
It is going to be a good match between United and Chelsea on Sunday. It will be the fourth time that Solskjaer’s side has met Lampard’s time this season, beating them twice in the Premier League; 4-0 at Old Trafford and 2-0 at Stamford Bridge. The other match was played in the Carabao Cup, against played at Stamford Bridge winning 2-1. So far this season, United have beaten Chelsea three times, scoring eight goals and conceding just one. Could Lampard be worried about a fourth consecutive defeat by United? It has certainly got to be a worry of his ahead of this match.
Written by John Walker