GUS POYET described Frank Lampard’s involvement against Sunderland as “smart” after the Manchester City man’s match-winning contribution.
Ex-England international Lampard came off the bench to seal victory for Man City today after Sunderland had fought back from two goals down at the Etihad.
Just 24 hours earlier, Lampard’s move to City’s sister club New York City was postponed, so he could remain with the Premier League champions until the end of the season.
Lampard was given permission to feature against Sunderland, with Black Cats boss Poyet inevitably asked for his views on whether the 35-year-old should have been able to play.
Poyet said: “Well, it looked to me last week that it wasn’t possible, but apparently it was possible.
“How? I don’t know. I’m not an expert in rules and regulations.
“But he made a difference, scoring the goal.
“For me, it’s clever, it’s smart.
“It’s legal, so I’ve got no problem with that.”
While Poyet may not have had a problem with Lampard’s involvement, he was more concerned with the marking for the former Chelsea man’s winner.
Lampard got between the two Sunderland centre-halves and headed into the bottom corner, just two minutes after Adam Johnson had levelled for the visitors.
“When you’re playing away against the champions and you find yourselves 2-0 down, you need to do something very special to come back,” added Poyet.
“After coming back, we needed to be better.
“The biggest disappointment was the last 15 minutes after it went to 2-2.
“We gave the goal away too easily.
“It’s Frank Lampard. We know what he does. He’s going to arrive late in the box, so you need to mark.
“Then we opened up the game completely, we needed the goalkeeper to save us from conceding five or six.
“That’s the risk you take when you open you’re game up against the quality of Man City.
“But at the end, we need to be realistic.
“We gave the champions a decent game.
“Sorry about the first half, it was boring. But I think after that, it was very entertaining.”