Frank Lampard demands explanation over controversial VAR call in Man City defeat

Tom Gott
Frank Lampard was livid with what he felt was a missed call
Frank Lampard was livid with what he felt was a missed call / Robin Jones/GettyImages

Everton manager Frank Lampard has blasted Premier League officials for missing a handball call on Rodri during the Toffees' 1-0 defeat to Manchester City on Saturday.

Late in the game, having just conceded a goal from Phil Foden, Everton went down the wing and fired a cross into the box, only to see the ball blocked by the outstretched arm of Rodri, whose face certainly looked like a man who knew he could be in trouble.

No penalty was given by on-field referee Paul Tierney, but the decision was checked extensively by the VAR official, who spent two minutes looking at numerous replays before deciding against awarding the penalty or even asking Tierney to review the footage pitchside.

The Premier League Match Centre initially claimed the footage was 'inconclusive' but upon reviewing their decision after the match - a regular occurrence for any VAR call - it was accepted that a penalty may have been the right call.

That wasn't enough for Lampard, who fumed at the missed call and even went as far as to allude that the decision not to request a review from the referee was more than simply a mistake.

“I was calm, I was not shouting and ranting at [the referee]," Lampard said. "I wanted to know if it was offside in the build-up but it wasn't, I've been told that clearly.

"The referee said he was on the other side of it. Fine, I get that, so go to VAR, who have a minute and a half, two minutes to look at it. To think that [VAR] Chris Kavanagh has not given that as a penalty when it strikes him on the arm, in an unnatural position. I have a three-year-old daughter at home who could tell you that was a penalty.

“We are fighting at the bottom of the table and Man City are fighting to win the league. Everything's crucial. It's the easiest decision you're ever going to get as a handball. I don’t know what has to happen as a reflection of that. A mistake would be when you have done something wrong and don’t have time to think about it, they had two minutes to digest the handball.

“Even if the VAR says they're not sure, then go have a look. It is incompetence at best, if not that then someone needs to explain what it is. It’s a clear, clear handball.”