Football

Carlo: Lamps will still take penalties

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Frank Lampard will keep his job as Chelsea's penalty taker despite the late failure at Manchester City on Saturday that consigned the Blues to defeat.

The 2-1 loss allowed Manchester United to close the gap on Chelsea to two points in the battle to be crowned champions, although Carlo Ancelotti's men do have a superior goal difference after their recent scoring spree.

"So, Lampard can miss a penalty," said Ancelotti. "These things happen. It is no problem. He will take the next one."

Indeed, Ancelotti adopted a rather sanguine view of the whole performance.

Chelsea might have been pressed back for long spells and his diamond formation might have been exposed by the impressive industry of Nigel de Jong but the Italian saw no need for recriminations.

He was even admirably restrained in his condemnation of referee Howard Webb, who decided Micah Richards had not handled in the build-up to Emmanuel Adebayor's equaliser and that Ricardo Carvalho could have avoided planting his foot in Carlos Tevez's back, a decision which provided City with the free-kick from which Tevez drove home the winner.

"I don't know what the referee saw," said Ancelotti. "It was handball against Richards and Carvalho played the ball clean.

"I am surprised because I consider Howard Webb to be a fantastic referee."

Ancelotti does not share the general view that a week that started with a Carling Cup exit at Blackburn represents failure. Neither does he feel there is anything to trouble him over a newly tight-fought title duel.

"We don't have any reason to be worried," he said. "It will be a race until the end of the season but we are still top of the league and have two more points than Manchester United so we do not need anything extra."

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Topics:
Emmanuel Adebayor
Football
Manchester City
Blackburn Rovers
Carlos Tevez
League Cup
Chelsea
Premier League
Ricardo Carvalho
Manchester United
Nigel De Jong
Micah Richards

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