Manchester United and Chelsea are set to go head-to-head in the second of two FA Cup semi-finals in just a little over 24 hours time with both sides looking to lift silverware after what has been an unprecedented footballing season. Tensions appear to be rising both on and off the pitch as both side’s manager clash in their opinions of the novel officiating system, VAR.
United go into tomorrow’s game in fine form after boasting a 19 game unbeaten run, however, the same cannot be said for Chelsea after the Blues suffered two shock defeats at the hands of West Ham (3-2) and Sheffield United (3-0) in their last six games.
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard will be keen to end both side’s current run of form tomorrow as he looks for his first final as the Blues boss.
Speaking ahead of the two side’s Semi Final, Lampard drew attention to increasing speculation that United’s are receiving an unfair amount of VAR decisions in their favour. According to ChelseaFC.com, the Chelsea manager said: “That’s an important part of defending at any point in time. [Bruno] Fernandes is very clever in his movement, we saw that at Aston Villa to make something feel like a penalty when maybe it isn’t.”
However, Reds boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hit back at suggestions that his side are succeeding with the help of favourable decisions, speaking earlier this morning in his press conference, as quoted by Manchester Evening News, he said: “How long have we got? 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 is 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 [Oriol] 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 Man 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. “
There’s a narrative there but we have to focus on our games, we let other people talk about that. I don’t wanna go too much into it because I might be in trouble! I hope I’m not now!
“I’m pretty relaxed on these and refs are gonna be making objective decisions and are not gonna be influenced by any emotion in any way, so I don’t think they’ll read [what Lampard said].”