Frank Lampard’s first game in England as Chelsea head coach takes place this weekend at the Madejski Stadium, a ground at which our former number eight has some fond memories.
The friendly fixture comes a fortnight before our Premier League opener away at Old Trafford and can be watched via a live stream on this website or on our official mobile app, the 5th Stand. Click here for more information.
Reading were Premier League opponents of the Blues in three separate seasons during Lampard’s illustrious Chelsea playing career, as well as in the 2003/04 League Cup. The latter was our new boss’s first club appearance away at the Royals, three days after his converted penalty had earned us all three points against reigning champions Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.
Playing in midfield alongside Joe Cole, Geremi and Jesper Gronkjaer in a hard-fought cup win in Berkshire, it was Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s goal that proved the difference in settling the contest.
However, that was not Lampard’s first appearance at the Madejski. In September 1999, England Under-21s hosted a European qualifier at the stadium against Luxembourg, winning 5-0. Lampard was captain and scored the evening’s fifth goal, while Jody Morris was an unused substitute. Lampard would go on to play for his country 106 times at senior level.
Back in blue and back on the scoresheet, it was Frank’s equaliser that helped us to victory on the second weekend of the 2007/08 Premier League season. Didier Drogba notched the winning goal against Steve Coppell’s side, who had led through Andre Bikey.
Our most recent visit was in January 2013 when Lampard scored again, notching one of his 13 headed league goals. Juan Mata was also a scorer but the Blues suffered at the hands of a late Reading comeback and had to settle for a share of the points.
Earlier in the campaign, Roberto Di Matteo’s European champions beat Reading 4-2 at the Bridge, with Lampard opening the scoring from the penalty spot. The other scorers that day were Gary Cahill, Fernando Torres and Branislav Ivanovic.
Lampard’s managerial career last term also began at the Madejski, where his Derby side came from behind to beat the Royals 2-1. Mason Mount netted the equaliser with a strike from 25 yards before a last-minute Tom Lawrence header ensured a winning beginning in the dugout for our record goalscorer.