Lehmann attacks Lampard over 'terrible' insults

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The Independent Online

His theatrical duel with Didier Drogba may have caught the imagination at Stamford Bridge on Sunday but Jens Lehmann's real antipathy, he has revealed, is towards Frank Lampard. The Arsenal goalkeeper said that he suffered a number of "terrible" insults throughout the match from the England midfielder.

While Lehmann would not elaborate on what Lampard had said to him, he did say that he had no ill-feeling towards Drogba even after the two embarked on an extraordinary shoving match in the second half. Both were guilty of dreadful exaggeration in an effort to get the other sent off - the result was a yellow card each.

"Nothing happened with him [Drogba] - I like him," Lehmann said. "I think the handshake between us says it all. You can have passion in the game, but as long as you get on with people nicely it's OK. He didn't insult me in comparison to his team-mates - I never insult anybody - and I can't complain about him. Some of his team-mates insulted me terribly, but Drogba never does that so I have no problem with him.

"Lampard is a specialist in insulting people very badly, but Drogba doesn't say a word. He is a nice guy - he doesn't insult people. I play offensively and no one played that style when I first came here. Now I see goalkeepers trying to play the same way as I do. That's part of the game."

Given the ludicrous nature of his clash with Lehmann, it was apposite that Drogba more or less admitted, in response to fans' questions in the matchday programme, that he went down too easily under challenges. "I am more fresh than other seasons, I had a one month rest," he said. "In my first season I only had seven days. Last year I think it was 15 days, maybe 20. But I want to say this: I always give 100 per cent for my team and nobody can say, whether they think I stand up or not, that he's not giving 100 per cent. Not since I have been here can anyone say that."

Lehmann also challenged Jose Mourinho's assertion that only the home side had tried to win the game and argued, that despite injuries to Thierry Henry, William Gallas and Tomas Rosicky - and Kolo Touré's ban - it had been Arsenal who had dominated the match.

"Everyone has their opinion but we have seen a very good performance, playing very well and we didn't see them for long parts of the game," he said. "We know they are dangerous on set-pieces, but when you compare the style of the teams we were far above them. When you see the play we did more for the game than them. Everyone has their opinion, but that's what makes it exciting.

"We came here to win. Especially in the first half, when we played well, they didn't do anything for the game. Even in the second half and at the end they created the chances so we can't complain."

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