30th April 2005. 19th May 2012 – dates that will live forever in the memory of Chelsea fans. Today, 11th May 2013, another date is etched into our memory – the day…that Frank Lampard became Chelsea Football Club’s All-time record goal scorer. Super Frankie Lampard scored twice to equal and then break Bobby Tambling’s record of 202 goals and effectively booked a top four finish.
After a bleak, no, awful first half, Chelsea’s hopes of securing Champions League football rested on a knife edge. Our lack of urgency was punished on 14 minutes as Christian Benteke powered past Gary Cahill and shot past Cech at the near post. Ramires received a yellow card early on and looked certain to get another. And sure enough he was shown a second yellow just before half-time for (two) high foot challenges. Benteke could easily have been sent off for an elbow on Azpilicueta but only saw yellow. The striker eventually had his early in the second half after another high challenge on John Terry, similar to Nani’s infamous red in the Champions League.
Later in the second half, John Terry was stretchered off after appearing to twist his ankle. And The Blues were down to nine men for the last four minutes of stoppage time when Eden Hazard limped off with a hamstring injury that looks like it may keep him out of the Europe League final on Wednesday. There were also appeals as Gary Cahill’s effort was cleared off the line. But replays show that Demba Ba did knock the ball over by about a foot.
Now that’s out of the way we can get onto the big business. Benteke’s sending off galvanised Chelsea and it was long before Lampard got the moment we’ve all been waiting for, for so long. The goals couldn’t have been more typical of the man. He took over the captaincy as he has done so many times before. His 202nd came just after the hour mark. The ball came to him on the edge of the box and in true Lampard style, he shifted it to the side and curled it past Guzan. With two minutes of normal time left, Hazard squared for Lampard who made a trademark late run into the box. 2-1. Goal number TWO HUNDRED AND THREE. How typical of the man is it to take over the captaincy, score twice to secure the win and effectively secure Chelsea’s top four finish, breaking the record in the process.
Let’s not use this as ammunition to call for Frank’s new contract, or the return of Jose. Let’s just heap every single little of praise and gratitude upon the man that he deserves – all twelve years and 203 goals worth.
It has been an honour and a privilege to write this report for you on the day that Frank Lampard cemented himself as Chelsea’s greatest ever player.
I, CFCnet and every single Chelsea fan around the world salute you, Frank Lampard.