The midfielder etched his name into the history books by deposing Bobby Tambling as Chelsea's record goal scorer with a match-winning brace against Aston Villa.
Frank Lampard surpasses Bobby Tambling's Chelsea goal-scoring record
Aston Villa 1 Chelsea 2
Aston Villa Benteke 14’
Chelsea Lampard 61’, 88’
Red cards Christian Benteke (Aston Villa), Ramires (Chelsea)
Man of the match Frank Lampard (Chelsea)
Lampard’s pursuit of Bobby Tambling’s mark of 202 goals for Chelsea has provided a fascinating sub-plot throughout the season and he crossed the line in dramatic circumstances in the 2-1 win at Aston Villa – first equalising Christian Benteke’s opener and then sealing victory with a close-range finish in the 88th minute.
The feat all but assured Uefa Champions League football next year and also ensured Lampard’s name would go down in Chelsea history.
The veteran midfielder, mobbed by appreciative teammates after both strikes, was gracious after the match – singling out both his mother Pat, who died in 2008, and Tambling for special mentions as well as lauding the Chelsea faithful.
“It means everything to me. It’s amazing, the support I’ve had from teammates, and you could see that at the end,” he told Sky Sports.
“I’m thankful to each one of them as they are the ones that put it on a plate for me sometimes, and the fans have been willing me to do it for a long time and are probably frustrated alongside me not getting there. But I’m just delighted the way the fans were at the end. That is what means everything to me.
“Bobby Tambling is a great man, he hasn’t been well recently, but he’s a great man and I didn’t want to overcook the celebration out of respect for him. To go and break it, I was delighted and very pleased to do it today. I’ve been here a long time. I lost my mum a few years ago and she was my biggest support.”
On a day that also saw Ramires and Benteke red carded, Chelsea’s success was dampened somewhat by second-half injuries to both John Terry and Eden Hazard, who are both now major doubts for Wednesday’s Europa League final.
Terry was carried from the field on a stretcher after a knock to the ankle, with Hazard finishing the game nursing a hamstring complaint.
“That’s the bad news today, the two injuries,” said interim manager Rafa Benitez. “We don’t know [if they will be fit for the final], we will wait for the scans.”
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert, whose side remain in a relegation fight, was unhappy with referee Lee Mason’s performance.
He felt both red cards were harsh, but was most annoyed by the decision to show Terry only a yellow card for a foul on Yacouba Sylla.
“I thought the whole game the referee was poor,” Lambert said. “When John Terry takes Sylla down ... he’s the last man. The referee has to see that. Sylla is through.
“The referee should have seen that the way I saw it or the way 40,000 [fans] saw it: Sylla’s through on goal.
“The referee should have done better than what he’s done.”
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