Frank Lampard admits he didn’t expect ever expect to score against his beloved Chelsea, after denying his previous clubs three points.
The former England international spent 13 years at Stamford Bridge following an £11million move from West Ham United in the summer of 2001, during which he played an integral part in winning three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups, the UEFA Champions League of 2012 and the UEFA Europa League the following season.
When his contract expired in the summer the midfielder was released by the club, and having stated it would be difficult to play for another side in this country, he agreed a deal with New York City. However, when Manchester City, the club who own his new employers, offered him a temporary spell at the Etihad Stadium, he gladly accepted.
It was strange enough seeing Lampard in City’s sky blue colours against Arsenal last weekend, and even more so when he was introduced as a second-half substitute against Chelsea on Sunday afternoon. At the time his new club were chasing his beloved former one 1-0 until, remarkably, he latched onto the end of a James Milner cross to get his boot onto the end of the ball and steer it past Thibaut Courtois to earn a share of the spoils.
“It’s a really difficult one,” Lampard, who refused to celebrate his goal, told Sky Sports. “I’d be unprofessional if I didn’t come on and do my job. It’s a tough one for me. I had 13 amazing years with the Chelsea fans, so I am mixed with it. I am obviously pleased the team I play for got a draw. I am a little lost for words. I didn’t expect to come on and score like that. I came on and the Chelsea fans were singing, and that’s emotional. Then I am playing for this club, who have taken me in brilliantly as well, so I am really stuck in the middle here.”
Prior to this match, Chelsea had picked up maximum points in the Premier League and would have moved eight points ahead of the champions had they managed to hold on at the Etihad Stadium. Despite being denied victory in Manchester, Jose Mourinho can’t be too disappointed with earning a point in what is undoubtedly one of their most difficult fixtures of the season, against a side they are expected to battle it out with for the title.
“It was a big game. I think maybe in the end 1-1 was a fair result,” he told Sky Sports. “We went 1-0 up after they had a player sent off (Pablo Zabaleta) and Diego (Costa) hit the post, but then they had a reaction. Even playing with one player less, they had a reaction and equalised. The conclusion we made in the dressing room is that we came here as leaders with two points more than the second-placed team. We played in the champions’ house, and we leave with three points more than second, so it is a good weekend for us.”