Football

Lampard condemns decision to overturn penalty in loss

Derby County manager Frank Lampard has criticised the decision to overturn a penalty for his side during their 1-0 Championship play-off semi-final, first-leg defeat by Leeds United at Pride Park yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Derby were awarded a penalty after Leeds winger Jack Harrison appeared to foul Jayden Bogle in the 77th minute, only for referee Craig Pawson to overturn his decision and award a free-kick to Leeds after consulting the linesman.

"I'm not sure if it's a penalty," Lampard told Sky Sports.

"The referee gave it, but the linesman has decided it was clear enough to not be a penalty. It's like human VAR but, with the actual VAR, the only way they turn decisions is if it's a clear and obvious challenge. It wasn't - I can't understand it.

"For the linesman to decide by himself and for the referee to accept that decision, making him completely wrong, is really difficult to understand."

Leeds scored in the 55th minute when striker Kemar Roofe collected a cross from Harrison and tucked the ball past Derby goalkeeper Kelle Roos to give his team a slender lead in the tie.

Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa chose to distance himself from the penalty controversy and instead warned his charges not to take anything for granted when the teams meet at Elland Road in Thursday's second leg.

"I did not have a clear view of the penalty... So I can't give an opinion," Bielsa was quoted as saying in the Daily Mail.

"It was a deserved win... However, the Champions League games last week are a warning of what could happen. A 1-0 lead is not comfortable enough."

In the other semi-final, first leg, Aston Villa pipped West Bromwich Albion 2-1.

Football