It was a rugby tackle, when Mane was bearing down on Kepa Arrizabalaga for a one-on-one, with the Chelsea goalkeeper himself liable to a red card if he was forced into a challenge outside the box.
Referee Paul Tierney initially booked the Dane, before a VAR review prompted an overturn of his decision and, with Christensen off, Mane scored twice in the second half to seal victory.
Asked about the incident in his post-match interview with Sky Sports, Lampard doubted that Tierney could be entirely convinced it was worthy of a red.
“Not definitely. They can get given or not,” he claimed.
“Once the yellow’s the first decision, you feel it needs to be absolutely critical that it’s a red to make that difference. I’m not sure it was.
“I’m not going to sit here and complain too much, it was one I felt could be given or not.”
Lampard attempted to remain positive in his view of Chelsea‘s performance, and there were elements of his assessment that rang true, but the Blues manager made a bold and entirely worthless claim on two defining moments.
“I actually am happier today in many ways than I was at Brighton, because Brighton was three points, an OK performance,” he said, reflecting on Chelsea‘s previous 3-1 win at the Amex.
“We’re in pre-season feel, because we haven’t had long enough to train in quite a lot of the individuals and as a collective.
“Today I saw spirit, I saw a desire to defend by a lot of our players, Reece James, Kurt Zouma, Fikayo Tomori when he comes on, midfield giving everything to block gaps.
“You play half a game with 10 men, you don’t make that mistake for the second goal and you score the penalty and it’s 1-1.
“I know that’s not football, and I know I can’t reflect on that, but those are the realities.”
Or to put it another way: ‘if my grandmother had wheels, she would be a bike’.