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Frank Lampard defends Callum Hudson-Odoi over diving claims

Frank Lampard defends Callum Hudson-Odoi over diving claims
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The forward was booked for simulation after the decision was overturned by VAR.

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard insists there has been no need to speak to Callum Hudson-Odoi in the wake of his controversial yellow card for diving at Burnley.

Blues forward Hudson-Odoi was initially awarded a penalty for going down in the box during the 4-2 win at Turf Moor, before being booked for simulation after the decision was overturned by VAR.

Clarets boss Sean Dyche was extremely critical of the incident post-match, calling it "shambolic how people just dive all over the place", while claiming it was worse because it involved a young player and expressing concern about the future of the game.

However, responding to Dyche's scathing comments, Lampard is adamant 18-year-old England international Hudson-Odoi did not dive.

Sean Dyche was critical of Hudson-Odoi
Sean Dyche was critical of Hudson-Odoi (Anthony Devlin/PA)

"Nothing, I've said nothing. I didn't feel the need to," replied Lampard when asked what he had said to Hudson-Odoi.

"I asked him on the day of the game, straight afterwards, after my press, he said he got a touch.

"Clearly when you see it back from behind he gets a hand on his back. I know it's light.

"I'm not saying it's a definite penalty but it's not (a dive). I'm not sure if Sean had maybe watched it back and all the angles when he spoke because it wasn't a dive as such.

"If that becomes a dive you will start analysing every bit of contact. Was that enough to put (Burnley striker) Ashley Barnes on the floor or not? Was that enough for Callum to go down or not?

"That is the game, those are the grey areas. It was nowhere near a clear cut issue."

Referee Michael Oliver changed his spot-kick decision following advice in his ear from the video assistant referee stationed at Stockley Park.

On-field officials have so far been reluctant to use pitch-side monitors to aid their rulings, opting to rely solely on the judgements of their colleagues.

Lampard would like to see that change. Asked if wants referees to watch replays of contentious incidents, he replied: "Yes.

"It's part of VAR and I assumed when it came in to the Premier League that would be the case. I think we're at the point now where, from my point of view, they have to.

"It's difficult. I'm not one to bang the drum, it's not easy. Even with VAR there is an element of a human involved because they are the ones checking it and it's slightly opinionated.

"I think at the weekend we saw it flip slightly the other way from what it had been already with some decisions being changed.

"Hopefully we find the right middle ground as soon as possible and I think seeing a monitor on the side of the pitch is a way forward."

Chelsea's weekend win in the north-west secured a seventh successive victory in all competitions.

The Blues will bid to extend that streak when Manchester United visit Stamford Bridge in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup.

Frank Lampard's tenure began with defeat at Manchester United
Frank Lampard's tenure began with defeat at Manchester United (Martin Rickett/PA)

Lampard's reign began with a 4-0 thumping at Old Trafford in August, but he feels that result will have little bearing on Wednesday evening's cup tie or his team talk.

"I've said nothing about that, it feels like a million miles away, gone," said Lampard.

"I'm not disregarding it, when you play against a top team like Manchester United with top players they can hurt you in moments and they did it to us four times in a game we performed pretty well in.

"I don't think the context of that is going to be hugely relevant tomorrow night."

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