Frank Lampard believes his side were denied a clear penalty as they were forced to settle for a share of the spoils in a frenetic 3-3 draw with Brentford at Griffin Park.
The Rams will be kicking themselves after taking the lead on three occasions – twice through Harry Wilson and once courtesy of Jayden Bogle – but allowing themselves to be pegged back by strikes from Julian Jeanvier, Neal Maupay and Said Benrahma.
However, it was referee John Brooks’ decision to book Ashley Cole for diving in the box that provided the main flashpoint, with virtually every visiting player surrounding the referee. For Lampard, the contact was clear.
“It was a penalty,” he said. “I think the referee was the only man in the vicinity who thought it wasn’t. He got his heels clipped.
“The reaction of the Brentford players says it all. Ashley was travelling at pace – to book him rubs salt in the wounds. Unfortunately, it was an important decision.
“We had a clear one earlier in the season against Nottingham Forest at home and that racks up a few points that changes things slightly for us.
“I felt we deserved to win it. They’ve got some great talent in their team, but at 3-2 we have a great chance to go 4-2 up (through Tom Lawrence) which kills the game.”
Brentford were certainly in the ascendancy in the second period, but the former Chelsea midfielder was pleased with the way his side stayed resolute in the face of the hosts’ onslaught.
“That was my favourite element of the game,” he added. “When we were slightly camped in our half, you worry that you’re going to concede or have a very difficult last 30 minutes, but the way we turned it around and got our goal and then had another chance to win it showed good character.
“It’s probably going to be a fight to the end and the point, when you look around the division, it has actually been good in some respects for us.”
Lampard’s opposite number Thomas Frank praised his side’s resilience but lamented their defensive sloppiness.
“It was a very physical game with a lot of duels, which I think we handled well. When you are down three times in a game, it shows very strong character to come back and our response every time was bang on, but I feel we need to be even better at controlling our emotions when you concede a goal or when there is a strong foul or bad decision.
“I know it’s very difficult when your pulse is up there at 220 beats per minute, but that’s what separates the good teams from the great teams. We showed what we were capable of in the 25 or 30 minutes where we absolutely dominated them, but we need to take our chances.
“If we go 3-2 up then we win this game. There were a lot of good things to take from the game, but we still need to defend better.”
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.