Monday’s football gossip

Frank Lampard after scoring against his old club
Frank Lampard after scoring against his old club
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Manchester City midfielder Frank Lampard rated his home debut as surreal after scoring against former club Chelsea to end their 100 per cent record in the Premier League this season.

The 36-year-old, the Stamford Bridge side’s all-time record goalscorer, came off the bench to cancel out Andre Schurrle’s 71st-minute goal after Pablo Zabaleta had been sent off for a second bookable offence.

His appearance off the bench brought cheers from the visiting supporters but it was the home fans celebrating at the final whistle as they rescued a point.

“It is completely surreal,” said Lampard.

“Had it not been against Chelsea there would have been a bit more excitement on my face but after 13 years there the reception I got throughout those years and when I came on I am not going to react another way.

“When the dust settles I can reflect on this and say it was a good day as no one lost and we fight on now in a very close Premier League.”

Louis van Gaal is convinced Manchester United will bounce back from their 5-3 humbling at the hands of Leicester.

Just seven days after recording his first win as Manchester United manager, Van Gaal was brought down to earth by the Premier League newcomers.

Lax defending allowed the Foxes to come back from 3-1 to complete their first home win over the 20-time English champions in 29 years.

Van Gaal, who spent over £150m in the transfer window, is refusing to panic despite the fact that his team have taken just five points from their opening five matches.

“I cannot say that I am happy but in the world of football, these matches happen,” said Van Gaal, who ended up with 10 men on his side following Tyler Blackett’s red card.

“We had the game in our pocket, but we gave it away. That I don’t like, but I am convinced we shall improve.”

Everton boss Roberto Martinez has admitted his side are heading into a make-or-break week as they bid to get their season back on track.

Martinez watched a mini-revival come to a juddering halt at Goodison Park as Yannick Bolasie inspired Crystal Palace to repeat last season’s 3-2 win in the corresponding fixture.

The defeat was a major blow for Martinez after successive wins over West Bromwich and Wolfsburg, and heightened the importance of Tuesday’s Capital One Cup trip to Swansea and next weekend’s Merseyside derby.

Martinez admitted: “We’ve got a really busy period and we want to make sure we take advantage of that.”

Anti-discrimination campaigners have offered their support to Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli after police launched an investigation into a tide of racist abuse aimed at him on Twitter.

The 24-year-old Italian striker was bombarded with foul messages after he had tweeted “Man Utd...LOL” in response to the Old Trafford club’s shock 5-3 defeat at promoted Leicester on Sunday afternoon.