Lampard sympathises with referee over GDS failure as he recalls World Cup ghost goal misery


Frank Lampard has sympathised with referee Michael Oliver over Hawk-Eye's failure to award Sheffield United a goal in Wednesday's 0-0 draw with Aston Villa.

But having gone through similar agony with England at the 2010 World Cup, Chelsea manager Lampard also understands United boss Chris Wilder's frustrations.

In the first half of the Premier League match at Villa Park, home goalkeeper Orjan Nyland carried Oliver Norwood's free-kick over the line, but the Goal Decision System (GDS) did not detect it.

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As a result, no signal was sent to Oliver's watch, while there was also no intervention from the Video Assistant Referee (VAR).

Hawk-Eye officials apologised for missing the incident, but Wilder was flabbergasted by what he felt was the "biggest VAR decision in the history of the Premier League".

Lampard went through similar with England at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, in the days before referees had the advantage of goalline technology, when a shot of his crossed the line against Germany but the officials failed to spot it. The Three Lions went on to lose 4-1.

Many feel that was a goal that instigated the introduction of the technology, and while Lampard says he is over the disappointment now, he appreciates what both Oliver and Wilder went through.

"Well, I've pretty much got over 10 years ago, a long time's gone, but certainly I remember the feeling at the time," Lampard told reporters in a video news conference on Friday.

"It was a difficult moment in the game and that's why I probably had a little sympathy with Michael Oliver and the referees the other day, because it is an easy thing to happen very quickly.

"We've been blessed with the technology since it came in because it's seemed so matter of fact, and I think we've all appreciated that and it's worked.

"It was the first time it didn't work. I don't want to talk casually about it because Chris Wilder will feel very strongly about it, but I think it's been very good, and that moment has to serve to make sure it doesn't happen again.

"And with the VAR technology I think we are generally trying to improve it all the time.  We may never get perfection in a sport like football, but technology is a good thing if used in the right way.

"I felt for Sheffield United and Chris Wilder, emotions would've been running high because of what's at stake in these moments.

"It was a difficult situation and in future we have to make sure VAR is across it to make doubly sure, it's one of the reasons VAR is there, to back up decisions.

"We thought this is clear-cut and now we realise it isn't. So, I really feel sorry for Sheffield United."

The beneficiaries of that mix-up, Villa, will be Chelsea's hosts in the Blues' first match back after the coronavirus-enforced pause on Sunday.

Lampard is expecting to have practically his entire first-team squad available, with just defender Fikayo Tomori set to miss out.

"We have a couple of issues – Fikayo Tomori has a muscle injury, probably from stresses of trying to get fit quickly," Lampard said.

"He has an injury that will probably keep him out for 10 days or so, and Callum Hudson-Odoi had a small injury earlier on in the training process, and although he's not match fit, he is physically fit now."

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