Monday 22 January 2018

Row with Jose was just banter – Lambert

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert. Picture: Kieran Doherty/Reuters
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert. Picture: Kieran Doherty/Reuters

ASTON VILLA manager Paul Lambert insists his pitchside exchanges with Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho at Stamford Bridge were predominantly "banter".

The pair were engaged in what appeared to be some heated arguments by the touchline during Chelsea's 2-1 Premier League victory over Villa on Wednesday evening, with Lambert unhappy about two particular incidents.

The Scot felt Branislav Ivanovic should have been sent off for catching Christian Benteke with an arm – the defender instead received a booking, before going on to score the winning goal – and that Villa were denied a legitimate penalty late on for a handball by John Terry.

Asked yesterday if he had calmed down, Lambert 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 after the match that Lambert "complains with every decision", the 44-year-old said: "So did he. It is the same. The two of us shout at referees and officials and everything. I'm not going to go there and lie down and neither is Jose."

The midlands outfit face Liverpool tomorrow, their first home game of the season, with three points from two games so far and Villa should have Irish central defender Ciaran Clark available for the game, despite being forced off in the first half of the 2-1 loss at Chelsea on Wednesday with a head injury.

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