Frank Lampard celebrates his 41st birthday today (20 June) and to mark the occasion, we revisit some of the most important moments in the Chelsea career of a true blue legend.
Bolton WanderersPremier League30 April 2005
Super Frank made an indelible mark on one of the most memorable days in club history by scoring twice at Bolton in 2005 to end Chelsea’s half-century wait for a league title.
After a nervy opening hour, the midfielder triggered wild celebrations in the away end at the Reebok Stadium by outmuscling a Bolton defender to reach Didier Drogba’s flick-on and cutting inside another before driving home a hard, low shot.
His second, 14 minutes from time, showed wonderful poise as he gathered Claude Makelele’s through ball in the centre circle on a counter-attack and ran clear before rounding goalkeeper Jussi Jaskalainen to seal the win which ended our long title drought.
Manchester UnitedFA Cup final19 May 2007
Lampard played alongside Didier Drogba for eight seasons and their great understanding was never more evident than during the dying minutes of extra-time in the first FA Cup final at the new Wembley when they combined to great effect against Manchester United.
With a penalty shoot-out looming after 116 scoreless minutes, the Blues finally made the breakthrough after a fine one-two between the Chelsea pair saw Lampard play an instinctive volleyed pass into the United box for the Ivorian to poke the ball past Edwin van der Sar for the only goal of the game.
LiverpoolChampions League semi-final30 April 2008
Of the 211 goals that Lampard scored for the Blues, none packed as much raw emotion as his extra-time penalty in the Champions League semi-final against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in April 2008.
Despite grieving the passing of his mother a week earlier, Lampard played on and he took responsibility when the Blues were awarded a spot-kick eight minutes into extra-time.
He duly sent Pepe Reina the wrong way to spark one of the most emotional celebrations ever seen at the Bridge as the Blues won 3-2 on the night and reached the Champions League final for the first time in club history.
EvertonFA Cup final30 May 2009
Super Frank had a knack for scoring spectacular long-range goals for the Blues but none was as important as his effort against Everton which turned out to be the winner in the 2009 FA Cup final.
With 18 minutes remaining and the score deadlocked at 1-1, he received the ball from Nicolas Anelka 25 metres from goal but appeared to lose his footing when he made a turn to elude a challenge from Phil Neville.
However, he regained his balance quickly and then let fly with a left-footed stunner, which gave Tim Howard little chance as it found the top corner of the net.
Bayern MunichChampions League final19 May 2012
With captain John Terry and three other Chelsea players suspended, few neutrals would have given us much of a chance four our clash with Bayern Munich in the 2012 Champions League final,
However, Lampard shouldered the responsibility of captaining the team and he put in a solid and disciplined performance as the Blues frustrated the home side and sent the game to a penalties after a 1-1 draw on the night.
And once again, he showed his composure from 12 yards, driving home his effort to keep the Blues in contention before Petr Cech made a pair of saves and Didier Drogba converted the winning kick to bring the Champions League trophy to London for the first time.
Aston VillaPremier League11 May 2013
On a memorable afternoon at Villa Park in our penultimate game of the 2012/13 season, Frank Lampard matched and then overtook Bobby Tambling as Chelsea’s leading scorer of all time to help the Blues come from behind to beat Aston Villa 2-1.
His first goal, which drew the teams level just after the hour, was a crisply struck left-footed effort from the edge of the Villa box which fizzed past goalkeeper Brad Kuzan into the top corner.
He then got his second of the game and 203rd overall for the Blues in the dying minutes, making a trademark late run into the box to turn in Eden Hazard’s low cross and set a new club scoring record which may prove hard to beat for any future Blues stars.