Lampard rues costly ref ricket at Anfield

Frank Lampard believes his wrongful dismissal at Anfield on Sunday cost Chelsea victory – three points which could have killed off their hopes of winning the Premier League title. The sides were locked at 0-0 when the England midfielder was sent off for a challenge on Xabi Alonso, with replays showing he clearly played the ball first. Rafa Benitez’s men went on to win the game with a late double salvo from Fernando Torres, and Lampard has found little solace in the FA’s decision to overturn Mike Riley’s red card, wiping out a potential three-match ban. “It's good that I can move on, but a shame that we lost the game because of it,” said Lampard. "I presumed it would be rescinded anyway so I was quite confident about that.” Lampard will now be available for selection against Hull and Aston Villa in the Premier League, and Watford in the FA Cup, where he could come up against his father, Frank Lampard Snr, who recently took up the post of football consultant at Vicarage Road. Misfiring Chelsea are now five points behind Premier League leaders Manchester United, having played a game more, and although Lampard accepts Riley made a mistake in sending him off, he has called for referees to consult their assistant referees and fourth official before making big decisions. “It was obviously a mistake, we all make mistakes,” said the 30-year-old. “Footballers make mistakes just as much as anyone - and the referee did. “All I think it needs is the referees to be given time to consult the other officials. There are four of them now so they're getting different angles on it. “And to use common sense. Players don't necessarily go around kicking and trying to hurt people. You have to understand that, even if you're at the wrong angle, a player's not trying to hurt people.” But Lampard said he was against using video technology, believing it would ruin the free-flowing attraction of football. “It's very difficult to keep stopping the game for any foul and then you open up a big door to look at any foul that happens and that's very difficult.”

Frank Lampard was speaking at the HMV Football Extravaganza, which has so far raised more than £3.5 million for Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy.

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