Spot-on Lampard boosts Blues
Sun, 28 Apr 2013 19:37:00
Frank Lampard came off the bench to score a penalty as Chelsea beat Swansea 2-0 to move back into third in the Premier League.
Lampard came on for the injured Ramires in the 24th minute and had the major impact on the game.
David Luiz's presence in midfield allowed the England international to push forward from deep and he fired in a 25-yard shot which Michel Vorm turned around the post.
The veteran then provided the assist for Oscar's 43rd minute opener. The goal came after John Terry intercepted a long ball forward before striding purposefully into midfield. He fed Lampard, who in turn found Oscar, and the Brazilian drilled a shot across goal inside the far post.
The Blues doubled their advantage in first-half injury-time after Juan Mata combined with Eden Hazard before being pulled down by Leon Britton in the box.
Lampard stepped up to notch his 201st goal for the club from the spot - one short of Bobby Tambling's Chelsea record.
Tambling was introduced on the pitch at half-time and saw Chelsea begin the second half well.
There were also a few moments of worry when Michu and Wayne Routledge escaped the attentions of Terry, only for the hosts to survive.
At the other end last season's European champions were unable to add to their total, with Demba Ba having the best chance of the half but Vorm did well to push his shot away.
Mata also came close to a goal on his 25th birthday but his shot across goal went narrowly wide and was just out of the reach of Ba's outstretched leg.
The win sees Rafael Benitez's side move three points clear of rivals Tottenham in the battle for a place in the Premier League top four and extended Swansea's winless run to six games.
Chelsea's next Premier League clash comes at Manchester United before the London derby with Spurs on May 8 which could prove decisive in the Champions League qualifying race.
For now they remain on course to achieve their two remaining targets this term and they will seek to confirm their place in the Europa League final in Thursday's semi-final second leg with Basel.
Victory in Amsterdam on May 15 would provide a fitting finale for Lampard if he does leave Chelsea this summer at the end of his current contract.
After the game, Benitez demanded no let-up.
The Spaniard told Sky Sports: "We said that it (the race for top four) could go on until the end of the season so we have to concentrate on every game. Today to get three points, to do well, to play nice football was also important."
Swansea boss Michael Laudrup rued the two quick-fire goals , saying: "That was too much for us I think, one goal you can cope with that but two goals in just two or three minutes just before half time, it was too much."