Football

Solskjaer accuses Lampard of 'influencing' officials with Man Utd 'narrative'


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hit out at Frank Lampard for “influencing” the officials ahead of Manchester United’s defeat to Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-finals.

Seconds before Olivier Giroud scored the opener for the Blues, United striker Anthony Martial appeared to be brought down by Kurt Zouma, though Mike Dean waved away the Red Devils’ protests.

Chelsea went on to extend their advantage to a three-goal lead in the second half as they ran out eventual 3-1 winners at Wembley Stadium.

And Solskjaer was clearly irked by Lampard telling his players to be wary of United midfielder Bruno Fernandes “dangling a leg” in the build-up to the match.

Solskjaer believes Lampard “influenced” the officials

The Blues boss had also questioned a number of “strange” VAR calls which he believes have gone the way of Solskjaer’s men in recent weeks.

Speaking the day after the match, the Red Devils boss accused Lampard of creating a “narrative” about his side which had cost them dear in the semi-final loss.

“What did my [son] Noah say the other day? It was 21 fouls and no bookings the other way,” Solskjaer told Sky Sports .

Solskjaer believes Zouma should have been sent off moments before Giroud scored

“I don’t want to go into it again, but while you’re at it, Anthony’s on the ball and he [Zouma] kicks through his foot. That’s a red card and a sending off. But that’s how small the margins are in football.

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“But it seemed that little bit of influencing the officials worked. I don’t want to start criticising because it sounds like it’s sour grapes but it isn’t.”

United return to action on Wednesday evening with as they host West Ham United with a place in the top four on the line.

A draw will be enough for the Red Devils to enter the Champions League spots ahead of a crucial fixture with Leicester City in the final game of the season.

Speaking about his side’s chances of landing a top four finish, Solskjaer told Sky Sports : “We know that we’ve got two games, we’ve got a great chance to achieve something that no one believed we could do.

“We’ve come so far as a team, we’re very close now to the end of the season so there’s no point leaving any energy in the dressing room, now it’s going to be left on the pitch.”

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