The failure to send the Argentine midfielder off in the Blues’ derby win over London rivals Tottenham left the Stamford Bridge boss incensed
The Blues ran out 2-1 winners at Stamford Bridge, with goals from Olivier Giroud and Marcos Alonso before Antonio Rudiger put through his own net as Spurs threatened a scarcely deserved fightback.
But prior to Tottenham’s goal, the visitors might have been reduced to 10 men as Lo Celso might have been dismissed after planting his studs into Azpilicueta’s shin.
VAR assessed the incident and decided against a card, although it was reported the official concerned later backtracked on this opinion.
The failure to make the correct call at the time did little to improve the mood of head coach Lampard, who was furious with the challenge.
“It’s harder to speak about it when you’ve lost because people are claiming you’re just shouting, but maybe you need to shout, because that’s not good enough.
“Everybody in the football world saw that that was a red. And it’s too late, too late to do that. The game should be over [at 2-0].
“I hate to call for red cards, but when they’re endangering… That’s a leg-breaker of a tackle.
“You get VAR brought into the game to see it and give the right decision. I’m not saying anything about the referees on the spot – it’s not easy on the spot – VAR’s here to clear those up. I’m not surprised they’ve put it right, but it’s not good enough.”
Opposite number Jose Mourinho had little to add, although he saw acknowledgement of mistakes from the officials as progress.
“I feel sorry that they don’t admit [mistakes] more times, especially when things go against us,” he said. “I don’t want to speak about it [VAR].”
Lampard was rather more positive about Chelsea’s application, suggesting they had set standards to take forward in terms of their intensity.
“The aggression in our game, the pressing off the ball, the work-rate [was aggressive],” he said. “We’ve been having a tough time at home for different reasons.
“And when you’re having tough times, there’s only one option, and that’s to fight. Sometimes, fighting [when it is] difficult, hanging on in the last few minutes when you shouldn’t have been, those are the moments.
“We have to bottle that up now, that feeling, understanding that needs to be our behaviour daily. The way we played today needs to be our daily behaviour in training and the games coming up.”