Lampard: Record is for my mum
Published 12/05/2013 | 08:21
Frank Lampard paid tribute to the man he replaced as Chelsea record goalscorer, before dedicating the landmark to his late mother.
Lampard's pursuit of Bobby Tambling's mark of 202 goals for the Blues has provided a fascinating sub-plot throughout the season and he crossed the line in dramatic circumstances in the 2-1 win at Aston Villa. He first cancelled out Christian Benteke's opener and then sealed victory in the 88th minute to all but assure Champions League football next year.
The veteran midfielder was gracious after the match - singling out both his mother Pat, who died in 2008, and Tambling for special mentions as well as lauding the Chelsea faithful. "It means everything to me. It's amazing, the support I've had from team-mates, and you could see that at the end," he told Sky Sports.
"I'm thankful to each one of them as they are the ones that put it on a plate for me sometimes, and the fans have been willing me to do it for a long time and are probably frustrated alongside me not getting there. But I'm just delighted the way the fans were at the end. That is what means everything to me.
"Bobby Tambling is a great man, he hasn't been well recently but he's a great man and I didn't want to overcook the celebration out of respect for him. To go and break it, I was delighted and very pleased to do it today. I've been here a long time. I lost my Mum a few years ago and she was my biggest support."
Chelsea's interim boss Rafael Benitez, who has enjoyed a significantly less pleasant relationship with the club's fans since his controversial arrival earlier this season, paid a slightly muted tribute to Lampard.
The Spaniard has used him more sparingly than most managers in the 34-year-old's career and, despite hailing his continued dedication, he stopped short of the gushing praise that will surely come his way from other quarters.
"I think it's great news for everyone," said Benitez. "He's a great player who has been working hard and to achieve what he has achieved is amazing. He is a great professional. I'm really pleased for him and really pleased for the team because he scored two goals and won the game."
Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert, whose side remain in the relegation fight as a result of the loss, was unhappy with referee Lee Mason's performance. He felt both red cards handed to Ramires and Benteke were harsh but was most annoyed by the decision to show John Terry only a yellow card for a foul on Yacouba Sylla.
"I don't need to speak to the referee, you just get yourself into trouble," he said. "I thought the whole game the referee was poor. When John Terry takes Sylla down, the full-backs are not getting back there - he's the last man. The referee has to see that. Sylla is through. The referee should have seen that the way I saw it or the way 40,000 saw it: Sylla's through on goal."