Two-goal Lampard breaks record as Chelsea triumph

Monday, 13 May 2013 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

REUTERS: Frank Lampard broke Chelsea’s all-time scoring record with two goals as the European champions all but secured a top-four finish in the English Premier League with a 2-1 win in an incident-packed game at Aston Villa on Saturday.

Christian Benteke put Villa in front in the first period with his 19th league goal of the season and Chelsea looked in real trouble when midfielder Ramires was sent off for a second caution just before halftime.

The Londoners looked flat and lethargic but the turning-point came in the 58th minute when Benteke was dismissed for a second booking.

Lampard equalised with a crisp left-foot shot three minutes later and the England midfielder went past Bobby Tambling’s record of 202 Chelsea goals when he poked in the winner in the 88th minute.

“People have been talking about the record a lot and it’s great to get it finally especially in an important game,” an emotional Lampard told Sky Sports television.

“Bobby Tambling is a great man and I was pleased to level but didn’t want to overcook that celebration out of respect for him.”

Visiting captain John Terry was carried off on a stretcher in the 72nd minute with his left leg in a brace following a collision in Villa’s penalty area.

Interim manager Rafael Benitez said Terry had twisted his ankle and the defender would need a scan to determine the full extent of the injury. Benitez added Eden Hazard had tweaked a hamstring, raising concerns the Belgium winger could be a doubt for Wednesday’s Europa League final against Benfica in Amsterdam, the 68th fixture of a gruelling campaign for the London club.

Chelsea occupy third position in the Premier League with 72 points and one game to go, five points ahead of Arsenal and six clear of fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur who both have two matches left.

Benitez’s team also have a superior goal difference of plus 35 compared to Arsenal’s 31 and Tottenham’s 18.

The top three qualify for next season’s Champions League and the team in fourth goes through to the preliminary round.

Villa’s defeat means they are still not certain of avoiding relegation.

Paul Lambert’s team are 13th in the table on 40 points, five ahead of Wigan Athletic who are in the third and final relegation place with two matches remaining.