x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Lampard is Chelsea's cup hero

The midfielder pays tribute to departing manager Guus Hiddink after scoring the winning goal in the FA Cup final.

Chelsea's Frank Lampard points to the sky after scoring his side's winner against Everton in the FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium in London.
Chelsea's Frank Lampard points to the sky after scoring his side's winner against Everton in the FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium in London.

WEMBLEY // Frank Lampard scored a superb winner as Chelsea beat Everton to lift the FA Cup and then paid tribute to departing manager Guus Hiddink. The Dutchman, who arrived as interim boss in February, returns to coaching Russia full-time and the 2-1 defeat of Everton at Wembley was a fitting finale to a successful spell in charge.

"He's a great manager and a great man," said Lampard, who scored the winning goal after Didier Drogba's header cancelled out Louis Saha's opener after 25 seconds. "It's a great send-off for him and we're delighted to give him a trophy. It was amazing. After we went 1-0 down we dominated the game. "I always felt we could win it and I'm pleased to get the goal that won it." Drogba hailed the battling qualities Chelsea showed to come back from 1-0 down after Saha scored the fastest goal in FA Cup final history.

"It's fantastic, I'm delighted," Drogba added on ITV Sport. "I'm really happy to finish the season this way. It was a difficult start but our strength is to believe in ourselves and our qualities and we played with more confidence - that's why we won today." Drogba also paid tribute to the impact Hiddink has had since he replaced Luiz Felipe Scolari. "I think the discipline between us was always good - you don't win six or seven trophies in five years if you don't have discipline in friendship. But the manger has given us an extra bit. We know his qualities."

Chelsea skipper John Terry revealed the players had given a parting gift to Hiddink. "We gave him an engraved watch and a shirt signed by all the lads. He was really touched." sports@thenational.ae