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Lambert slams 'really strange' refereeing decisions in loss to Chelsea

The Aston Villa boss feels John Terry should have been shown a straight red card for an early challenge on Yacouba Sylla, as top goalscorer Christian Benteke was dismissed

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has criticised referee Lee Mason after watching his relegation-threatened side lose 2-1 to Chelsea.

In a lively match featuring red cards for both Ramires and Christian Benteke either side of half-time, Chelsea also saw a Gary Cahill strike debatably cleared off the line by Ashley Westwood.

But Lambert believed it was the Villans who had been on the end of a series of poor decisions, particulary a foul by John Terry on Yacouba Sylla which the manager believes should have warranted a red card.

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"That was a hard one to take - it was there for everyone to see why we lost that game," Lambert told Sky Sports. "The one man in the middle, the decisions. His decisions were really strange. John Terry, a wonderful player, but nobody would have caught Sylla, nobody.

"The whole ball is obviously not over the line, he got that right but he has 90 minutes to get a few right. But I thought that some of his decisions were bizarre.

"My team were fantastic, we gave everything we had and we did not deserve that. They were fabulous, they really were and you can see by the crowd - the way they played, they got better and better and did not deserve to lose."

Lampard's late winner leaves Aston Villa five points clear of 18th-placed Wigan, who have a game in hand, heading into the two sides' final-day showdown.

But Lambert is calm regarding his side's battle to avoid the drop with many other teams also in the mix.

"Everybody has a lot of hard games, we have the 40-point mark and some teams are playing against each other and have hard fixtures so let's see what happens," he concluded.

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