Chelsea boss Frank Lampard responds to whether Marcelo Bielsa and Leeds United 'Spygate' saga is something he can forgive and forget

CHELSEA boss Frank Lampard says the Leeds United 'Spygate' episode is in the past and that he would rather dwell on the respect he has for Marcelo Bielsa as Whites head coach.

Friday, 4th December 2020, 2:49 pm

Lampard and Bielsa will face each other for the fifth time in Saturday night's Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge following four battles during the 2018-19 Championship campaign when Lampard was in charge of Derby County.

After United's 4-1 win at Pride Park in the second game of the season, the build-up to January's reverse fixture was dominated by the breaking 'Spygate' story as a member of Bielsa's staff was caught spying on a Derby training session.

Lampard was less than impressed, saying Bielsa's actions were "bad on a sportsman's level" and that the episode had disrupted his side's preparations for their clash at Elland Road.

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MOVING ON: Chelsea boss Frank Lampard from the whole 'Spygate' episode. Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images.

United then recorded a 2-0 victory against the Rams and Bielsa held an epic 70-minute press conference to explain his actions the following week in which he revealed he had sent staff to watch training sessions of every opponent so far that season.

Leeds and Bielsa were handed their punishment the following month when the EFL fined them £200,000 for breaching “good faith”, a fine Bielsa paid himself.

The two sides then met in the end of season play-offs and after United's 1-0 victory in the first leg at Pride Park, Lampard saw his side record a 4-2 victory in the second leg at Elland Road to win 4-3 on aggregate before ultimately losing the play-off final to Aston Villa.

Lampard then left to become Chelsea boss and a fifth meeting against Bielsa is now in the offing after United's promotion as Championship champions last season.

Asked if he could forgive and forget the Spygate episode, Lampard said: "It's in the past.

"I'm certainly not going to dwell on it going into this game, I would rather dwell on the respect that I have for him as a coach.

"It was a great news story, it had a lot to it and it's gone and I just look at him and how well he did with Leeds.

"He brought Leeds up the year after, they were one of the strongest teams in the Championship, probably the strongest in the year that we played against them at Derby so it was a very proud moment for us, for myself actually, to go against him and win that game.

"But it's a game long gone now and I go up against him with a team in great form and I just see the football side of it now."

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Thank you Laura Collins