Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Lampard relieved to avoid red

Frank Lampard

Frank Lampard admitted he was lucky to still be on the pitch when he scored Chelsea's late winner in their 2-1 success at Wolves.

Midfielder Lampard accepts he was fortunate not to be sent off for a sliding challenge on Wolves winger Adam Hammill midway through the first half. The 33-year-old escaped with a yellow card from referee Peter Walton - one of five bookings in an eight minute spell - and then netted Chelsea's winner with just two minutes remaining.

Lampard said: "My heart was in my mouth over that challenge. I have to admit that. There was no malice, and I honestly mean that, but I was late and I might have been a bit lucky to stay on the pitch."

He added: "I said straight away to Hammill that I was very sorry. I was just a bit late on it. I was trying to get my foot in and I was maybe lucky but it wasn't any conspiracy between the ref and us. There were a few things that could have gone either way today."

Chelsea's players made a point of celebrating with under-fire manager Andre Villas-Boas after Ramires had netted their opening goal.

Reports emerged last month that Villas-Boas had ordered his side to include the coaching staff in their goal celebrations but the Portuguese said the reaction was more spontaneous than that.

Villas-Boas said: "It's just part of them showing the unity of the team and what the team have been doing. I think after the recent happenings in the home fixtures, where we lost points, it is normal for stories to come out, speculation about untrue things going on.

"I didn't know the celebration was coming. If you like to be speculative, that's your choice, but if you take that route, you're not being correct."

Wolves boss Mick McCarthy was incensed with his side's defending for the winning goal from after Stephen Ward had equalised with six minutes remaining.

He said: "I had a proper snarl at the players because that defending was not acceptable. It was tough to take. I am livid we conceded a goal in that way. We should have defended the situation. We worked hard to turn things around and when you get back to 1-1, you have to make sure you hold onto what you have got."