Lampard asks for Chelsea fight after smash and grab United defeat

Ruben Hill
February 18, 2020

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said Maguire was fouled.

"I know I caught him and I felt he was going to fall on me and my natural reaction was to straighten my leg to stop him", Maguire told the BBC after the match. "It probably looks worse than it was". It wasn't a kick-out and I had no intent to hurt him. The United captain put in block after block and then popped up with the crucial second goal to seal the game for his side, but should he have been on the pitch at all? Azpilicueta seemed to have been pushed a split-second earlier by Fred.

But even when Chelsea did get the ball in the net through substitute Kurt Zouma, the goal was ruled out by VAR for a push on Brandon Williams by Cesar Azpilicueta.

Chelsea has always been in fourth place, but has only won three of its last 11 games in the league to give a slew of rivals clubs hope of catching up. United, another of Mourinho's old clubs rose to seventh, three points behind Chelsea.

"This season, we have been far too inconsistent, " Maguire said. "But we got the first goal and hung in there".

Tammy Abraham failed a late fitness test on an ankle injury while Callum Hudson-Odoi is also not involved tonight so Michy Batshiayi leads the line up front for Chelsea with Pedro and Willian offering support.

Having been criticized heavily in January for United's lack of goals, Anthony Martial hit back at his critics in some style with a header that may prove to be worth millions.

Lampard's main gripe, though, was his team's failure to finish off chances once again. In the first half we were cumbersome, slow, the passing wasn't great.

"I feel like a broken record". "With lots of possession, lots of shots at goal and we're not finishing them". Eleventh-placed Burnley are only 7 points off Chelsea and the congestion in this area of the table means the race for Europe will go down right to the wire - with Chelsea, Spurs, Everton, Arsenal, United, Burnley, Wolves and Sheffield all in the mix. "I don't like the way we're losing games", Lampard said.

Two players struck the post from free kicks in the second half, Fernandes for United and Mason Mount for Chelsea.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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