Home comforts fail to impress Lambert

Paul Lambert was accused of being 'brash' by Chelsea counterpart Andre Villas-Boas in the aftermath of a spicy Premier League encounter at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues' young Portuguese boss was unhappy at Lambert's verdict on the match-defining penalty incident which saw John Ruddy red carded and Frank Lampard slot the resulting spot kick to put the hosts 2-1 up.

City looked to be in the ascendancy after Grant Holt had cancelled out Jose Bosingwa's early long-range strike just past the hour mark until Lampard struck. Villas-Boas then introduced new signing Juan Mata for his debut and the Spanish World Cup winner slotted a third in stoppage time.

Lambert felt Brazilian international Ramires was already on the way down after latching on to Nicolas Anelka's crossfield pass – but referee Mike Jones had no hesitation in pointing to the spot before reaching into his top pocket.

'I saw on the monitor that he (Ramires) has over-hit the ball and he's going to ground before he's secured possession,' said Lambert. 'John's momentum is coming out and I think he has actually lost control of the ball. I thought it was harsh.

'You don't get those decisions when there is a big crowd for the home team. They've got it and in that case the referee has got only one take on it.

'The referees more times than not will go with the home side. I thought he had a really good game, the referee, but just the penalty decision I thought was a big moment, a big turning point when I thought we looked like the team in the ascendency to go and win it. It was a big moment because we had chances to go 2-1 up.'

Most Read

Villas-Boas felt Lambert should have kept his counsel over the penalty incident.

'Paul Lambert has a good imagination. Fantastic,' he said. 'We had two strong penalty claims, very, very obvious ones (against Stoke) and we were able to keep silent on that so if Paul isn't able to keep silent on this situation it's unlucky for him because I think it doesn't look very nice.

'I just think to be brash and aggressive when a referee's decision goes the wrong way (is wrong). We European coaches get criticised straight away and I got criticised by just (talking about) referees' 'help' for pushing and shoving. I think it's unfair. All our players seem to go down. The other players don't seem to go down – it's good to be aware of this difference of opinion.'

The two highly-rated managers were seemingly at odds again over the minor spat that ensued in the technical area following the award of the second-half penalty. Lambert was clearly unhappy that Chelsea's fitness coach Jose Maria Rocha appeared to encroach into his technical area.

'You better ask the guy with a stopwatch around his neck,' said the Scot. 'I don't know who he is, but he has flowed right into our area. I thought that was disrespectful. He shouldn't be in my technical area. I'm not fluent in Portuguese, but if he understands Glaswegian he might know what I said. You don't do that. It's disrespectful.'

Villas-Boas defended his compatriot.

'I know Paul was excited, not only about that, but also about the penalty,' he said. 'It's difficult to control your emotions, but I would find it very, very strange that my technical staff would be disrespectful of Norwich. Maybe they were just showing some emotions. If Paul can't handle that, then I am sorry. Unlucky.'

Lambert was delighted with the display of his troops.

'I couldn't ask any more of the lads,' he said. 'Coming here, we thrived on it. I thought we came here and never sat back and I thought we didn't get what we deserved and the penalty was the turning point.'