Lambert: Jose run-in just 'banter'

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert has suggested Chelsea would have been awarded a penalty if an incident similar to John Terry’s apparent handball had occurred in the home team’s box in last night’s Barclays Premier League match at Stamford Bridge.

Lambert felt his side had been denied a legitimate spot-kick in their 2-1 defeat to the Blues when Terry appeared to block Gabriel Agbonlahor’s header with his arm in the area late on.

The Scot also thought Branislav Ivanovic should have earlier been sent off for catching Christian Benteke with an arm – the defender instead received a booking, before going on to score the winning goal.

Asked this morning about Kevin Friend, the referee for the game, Lambert said: “I spoke to Kevin afterwards, and obviously what is said in there stays in there. But I didn’t need to speak to him really.

“It was a clear handball.

“It’s a stone-waller, a clear penalty. I don’t care what anyone says, that is a penalty.

“Gabby has won the header and it has hit John’s hand. I’m pretty sure if it had been down the other end, it would have been given.”

Lambert and Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho were engaged in what appeared to be some heated arguments by the touchline during the contest.

But Lambert insists the technical area exchanges were predominantly “banter”.

He said: “I was calm last night.

“I think there has been a lot made of me and Jose in the technical area. There was the odd little thing, but there was a lot of banter between us.”

When it was put to him that Mourinho had said post-match that Lambert “complains with every decision”, the 44-year-old said: “So did he. It is the same. The two of us were shouting at referees and officials and everything.

“I’m not going to go there and lie down, and neither is Jose.

“A lot has been made of me moaning – he does his fair share as well, just to let you know.

“It is not a problem. We had a bit of banter between us and I saw him afterwards. I like him and he is a brilliant football manager. There was never a problem.”


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