Frank Lampard earns Chelsea crucial win

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Aston Villa v Chelsea - Villa ParkChelsea have come from behind to beat Aston Villa 2-1 and all-but secure Champions League football this afternoon on a momentous day for veteran midfielder Frank Lampard.

The tone for a fast-paced encounter was set after two minutes when Nathan Baker was cautioned for an over-zealous challenge on Juan Mata. Villa looked dangerous in attack and made their bright start count to take the lead after 14 minutes. Benteke was the architect, latching onto a pass from Yacouba Sylla to run at the Chelsea defence.

The Belgian striker left Gary Cahill in his wake to burst clear at the far post and beat Petr Cech from close range for his 19th goal of the season.

Fabian Delph then whistled a fierce strike just over the crossbar from 20 yards as Villa looked to press home their advantage.

Chelsea responded positively and went close to an equaliser as Brad Guzan kept out Demba Ba with a fine save from close range.

Guzan was at full stretch again before the break, tipping a Lampard free kick onto the post before denying Mata from the rebound.

Benteke was booked before the break following an aerial tussle with Cesar Azpilicueta, with John Terry soon following for a late lunge on Sylla.

Just before the interval Chelsea were reduced to 10 men as Ramires was issued with a second yellow card for a high challenge on Gabriel Agbonlahor.

Source: Sports M.

The match then changed completely on the hour mark when Benteke picked up his second caution for a high tackle with studs showing on Terry.
Within three minutes the Blues were level as Lampard slammed in his 202nd Chelsea goal, finally equalling Bobby Tambling’s all-time goalscoring record for the club.

Chelsea then went within inches of taking the lead in a contentious moment as Sylla and Ashley Westwood scrambled Cahill’s shot clear on the line.

The Blues were convinced that Baker made contact with his hand and that the ball crossed Guzan’s line, but neither decision went their way.

With time running out Lampard made another telling contribution, swapping neat passes with Eden Hazard in the box before tapping home the winner from close range.
Lampard’s 203rd goal took him clear of Tambling as Chelsea’s all-time goalscorer and earn the visitors a precious three points in the race for Champions League places after holding on in eight tense added minutes.

Source: SportsM.