Frank Lampard was bought by Chelsea to score goals from midfield.
The summer of 2001 was a time of revolution in the middle of the team as we said farewell to Dennis Wise and Gustavo Poyet, who had been at the heart of the club’s then most successful period. Roberto Di Matteo was also out of action with the injury that would bring about his retirement.
In as replacements came Emmanuel Petit, who was purchased to take on the more defensive midfield tasks, and Boudewijn Zenden who could play in the wide position often occupied by Poyet, but a major question was how to replace the Uruguayan’s prowess in front of the target. Poyet had scored at the rate of one goal every three games across just under 150 appearances.
For an answer manager Claudio Ranieri chose a soon-to-be 23-year-old from West Ham with one England cap to his name. Chelsea paid £11 million – the second highest fee we had spent and the most by any club in the Premier League for a midfielder.
At Upton Park, Lampard had scored 38 goals in 187 appearances as well as demonstrating the all-round quality that tempted Ranieri.
He, along with the other new midfielders, went straight into the Chelsea team for the new season and his first goal came in his fifth appearance. Having run tirelessly throughout a UEFA Cup match at home to Levski Sofia, he turned in a rebound in the closing moments after his initial shot was saved.
Seventeen games then passed without another Lampard goal. Although his general contribution was of a sound standard, was this a player who could really make a difference at the highest level? The Chelsea crowd remained supportive.
Just before Christmas, at home to Bolton, he smashed in the fifth in a big win and a first league goal was marked against the Lampard name. It was followed straight away by one at Highbury on Boxing Day. A March goal at home to Spurs in a 4-0 win would often stand out clearly in the memory but on this occasion it was overshadowed by a breath-taking Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink hat-trick.
Lampard finished his first season with a modest seven goals from 53 appearances. Some of the team’s best performances had come with him playing out wide.
In the very first game of his second season Lampard scored the winner at Charlton as Chelsea came back from 2-0 down. In the next away game at Southampton, he started a move with an accurate long pass wide and then ran through the defence into the penalty area to be there at the right moment to lift the ball over the keeper. It was a glimpse into the future.
His final total for the season of eight goals again only fell into the category of ‘good’ for a midfielder, but included were a technically accomplished volley at St. James’ Park and a quality strike in a home thumping of Man City. There was more to his game this season – more driving of the team forward, and he was the most used outfield player too. Chelsea qualified for the Champions League. Roman Abramovich bought the club.
Now the question was would Lampard hold down a place in a team that could call upon new-signings galore including Juan Sebastian Veron, Joe Cole, Claude Makelele and Geremi. By the end of that 2003/04 season he had played 58 games with no one else coming very close to that total. His goal tally rose significantly to 15 including, with Hasselbaink not on the pitch, his first two Chelsea penalties. One of them decided a home game versus Manchester United.
His first goal of that season was his first scored with his head for the club – against Spurs at the Stamford Bridge. His maiden Champions League goal remains to this day one of his finest, bending away off his boot from distance into the top corner of the Lazio net.
In a match at Blackburn Lampard played at the front of a midfield diamond for the first time and scored twice, but in the long run it was not a position that suited him best. He wanted to arrive undetected at the right time, not be there already.
In the spring of 2004 he celebrated his 100th consecutive Premier League game with a goal against Wolves, and scored the less famous goal in that very famous Champions League win at Highbury.
He was Chelsea’s second topscorer behind Hasselbaink that season and was voted the Player of the Year. The next campaign, as we won the league for the first time in half a century, he claimed our golden boot with 19 goals.
Frank Lampard had not only been bought by Chelsea to score goals from midfield, he had been bought to make an all-round contribution too. Without question he was achieving that which made the rate he was hitting the net all the more impressive.
In terms of scoring, the historic 2004/05 season was a slow burner. By the last week in October the now vice-captain had just one penalty to his name. But then came a steady flow up to Christmas as the team went to the top of the table and he grew accustomed to a new 4-3-3 formation. He netted a thunderous free-kick at Fulham and an open-play belter at home to Norwich.
There was a strike just as fierce at the Shed End against Crystal Palace in spring as we closed in on the title, and in the Champions League he scored on that famous night at the Bridge against Barcelona. His chest control, swivel and smash against Bayern Munich will always be in the running to be named as best Lampard goal, just as his two goals at Bolton have few rivals when it comes to making hair stand up on the backs of necks.
In 2005/06, as we defended the league championship won that day at the Reebok, Lampard like the team was fast out the blocks, netting 10 goals before Halloween. His first had been his 50th Chelsea goal. Free-kicks were going in regularly.
At Portsmouth he celebrated the setting of a new Premier League record of 160 consecutive appearances by converting a penalty, and at Upton Park at the turn of the year came a goal to cherish, his first against his former club to the dismay of the home fans.
At Bolton, 12 months after the first championship win, he was able to celebrate on the same patch of turf after scoring in front of delighted away fans.
Sixteen league goals that season was a new Premier League record for a midfielder and in all competitions Lampard reached 20 for the first time. He was club top scorer again.
In 2006/07 he went one better by finding the net 21 times. A salvo of long-distance strikes that season were reminiscent of Bobby Charlton in their range and power, and a goal floated in from a seemingly impossible angle away to Barcelona is another in strong contention to be his finest ever.
Lampard’s first Chelsea hat-trick came in an FA Cup tie against Macclesfield, on an afternoon when he would not have played had a teammate not turned up too late to be considered.
Injury was a rare opponent in 2007/08 and he was unavailable for 19 of the games, yet he would not be denied his now benchmark 20 goals. The figure was reached with an equaliser in the last game, the Champions League Final, and in helping Chelsea reach Moscow he scored his most admired open-play penalty, in the semi-final against Liverpool on his return from compassionate leave following his mother’s passing.
In the domestic campaign Lampard reached his century of Chelsea goals in front of the Stamford Bridge crowd. Huddersfield were our FA Cup opponents that day. In a league match at home to Derby he scored four.
The next season ended with Guus Hiddink in charge having begun with Luiz Felipe Scolari at the helm. For Lampard it had a special conclusion and near the start he introduced a new way of finding the net to his repertoire, a delicate but deliberate floated lob. He showcased it in pre-season and executed it to perfection on a night in Hull.
It was also a season when he headed in goals at a rate not seen before or since. His 100th league goal came in that manner, and he marked his 400th appearance dramatically with a late, late winner against Stoke, earning Scolari a temporary reprieve.
By the time Chelsea made the FA Cup final, Hiddink was selecting the team. Lampard had scored his best free-kick so far in an early round against Ipswich and now at Wembley he was responsible for the winner, recovering from a stumble to hit the Everton net from outside the area with his left foot.
The season 2009/10 was the year of the Double and it was also the year Lampard became third highest scorer in Chelsea history by breaking the 150 barrier. That came as he went from 148 to 151 goals in one afternoon with four out of a seven-goal haul against Aston Villa. Another seven-goal feast, this time against Stoke City, featured a lovely cushioned volley with the outside of his boot from Sam Hutchinson’s cross.
Prior to those matches Lampard had passed a remarkable test of nerve by scoring a twice retaken penalty at hostile Upton Park. With the pressure on at Anfield in the final away game, there were celebrations to remember in front of the Chelsea away following when he turned in the team’s second to make us champions elect. He scored against Wigan when the job was completed a week later.
Didier Drogba was the king of the goals that historic season but it had not gone unnoticed our no.8 recorded a remarkable 27 goals from midfield – his fifth season in a row with 20 or more.
Injury spoilt the first half of the 2010/11 season with the only goal before the new year coming in the first league match, but then penalties got Lampard rolling. Four league goals in a row came from the spot including a winner against Manchester United. From 32 appearances he still managed 13 goals but along with the rest of the team he ended empty-handed in terms of silverware, a rare experience.
Not always a first choice under Andre Villas-Boas in the first part of the 2011/12 season, and used in a deeper role in a new formation under Roberto Di Matteo later on, there were reasons why it should not have been a high-scoring one for Lampard, but he hit an October hat-trick at the happy hunting ground of Bolton and showed his continuing worth with a late new-year winner at Wolves, starting a run of three goals in three games.
He netted penalties as Napoli and Benfica were overcome in the Champions League and fired a simply stunning free-kick past Spurs and old pal Carlo Cudicini in a Wembley cup semi-final. In the Premier League he became the first to score 10 goals in nine consecutive seasons. His total in all competitions was 16.
Which brings the story on to the current campaign, and one which started with Lampard seven goals short of Kerry Dixon’s all-time total and 16 behind Bobby Tambling.
Moving up to second place always looked likely and Dixon was matched with a penalty at Southampton in the FA Cup third round, and was surpassed the next weekend at Stoke, again from the spot.
At Newcastle, with an absolute belter, Lampard made it 10 league goals scored in each of the last 10 seasons.
There were some near misses on the final straight to the record – a penalty saved by his England colleague Joe Hart at Man City, and a shot against the post at home to Basel. But we need not have worried.
The goal that made him only the second man in Chelsea history to reach a double century was scored a way he would have wished – in front of the Shed End against West Ham. Goal 201 was an emphatic penalty against Swansea.
It was typical the goals that took Lampard equal and then onto to a new Chelsea all-time best total were not just goals but vital goals. With a top-four place in the league at stake and Chelsea a goal down, he found the net twice on a Villa Park pitch where Tambling had enjoyed his best scoring day.
Frank Lampard was bought by Chelsea to score goals from midfield. Frank Lampard has.
FRANK LAMPARD 203 CHELSEA GOALS
1 Sep 20 Levski Sofia (UEFA Cup home) W 3-0 (pictured below)
2 Dec 23 Bolton Wanderers (home) W 5-1
3 Dec 26 Arsenal (away) L 1-2
4 Jan 16 Norwich City (FA Cup home) W 4-0
5 Feb 9 Aston Villa (away) D 1-1
6 Mar 2 Charlton Athletic (away) L 1-2
7 Mar 13 Tottenham Hotspur (home) W 4-0
8 Aug 17 Charlton Athletic (away) W 3-2
9 Aug 28 Southampton (away) D 1-1
10 Oct 3 Viking Stavanger (UEFA Cup away) L 2-4
11 Dec 21 Aston Villa (home) W 2-0
12 Jan 28 Leeds United (home) W 3-2
13 Mar 1 Newcastle United (away) L 1-2
14 Mar 8 Arsenal (FA Cup away) D 2-2 (pictured below)
15 Mar 22 Manchester City (home) W 5-0
16 Sep 13 Tottenham Hotspur (home) W 4-2
17 Sep 20 Wolverhampton Wanderers (away) W 5-0
18 Oct 22 Lazio (Champions League home) W 2-1
19 Nov 4 Lazio (Champions League away) W 4-0
20 Nov 9 Newcastle United (home) W 5-0 (penalty)
21 Nov 30 Manchester United (home) W 1-0 (penalty)
22 Dec 28 Portsmouth (home) W 3-0
23 Jan 3 Watford (FA Cup away) D 2-2
24, 25 Feb 1 Blackburn Rovers (away) W 3-2
26 Mar 27 Wolverhampton Wanderers (home) W 5-2
27 Apr 6 Arsenal (Champions League away) W 2-1
28, 29 May 1 Southampton (home) W 4-0
30 May 5 Monaco (Champions League home) D 2-2
31 Aug 28 Southampton (home) W 2-1 (penalty)
32 Oct 30 West Bromwich Albion (away) W 4-1
33 Nov 13 Fulham (away) W 4-1
34 Nov 30 Fulham (League Cup away) W 2-1 (substitute)
35 Dec 4 Newcastle United (home) W 4-0
36 Dec 18 Norwich City (home) W 4-0
37, 38 Jan 15 Tottenham Hotspur (away) W 2-0 (1 penalty)
39 Jan 26 Manchester United (League Cup away) W 2-1
40 Mar 8 Barcelona (Champions League home) W 4-2 (pictured below)
41 Mar 19 Crystal Palace (home) W 4-1
42 Apr 2 Southampton (away) W 3-1
43, 44 Apr 6 Bayern Munich (Champions League home) W 4-2
45 Apr 12 Bayern Munich (Champions League away) L 2-3
46 Apr 23 Fulham (home) W 3-1
47, 48 Apr 30 Bolton Wanderers (away) W 2-0
49 May 15 Newcastle United (away) D 1-1 (penalty)
50, 51 Aug 24 West Bromwich Albion (home) W 4-0
52 Sep 13 Anderlecht (Champions League home) W 1-0
53, 54 Sep 24 Aston Villa (home) W 2-1 (1 penalty)
55 Oct 2 Liverpool (away) W 4-1 (penalty)
56, 57 Oct 15 Bolton Wanderers (home) W 5-1
58 Oct 23 Everton (away) D 1-1
59, 60 Oct 29 Blackburn Rovers (home) W 4-2 (1 penalty)
61 Nov 26 Portsmouth (away) W 2-0 (penalty)
62 Dec 26 Fulham (home) W 3-2
63 Jan 2 West Ham United (away) W 3-1
64 Jan 28 Everton (FA Cup away) D 1-1
65 Feb 8 Everton (FA Cup home) W 4-1 (penalty)
66 Feb 25 Portsmouth (home) W 2-0
67 Mar 7 Barcelona (Champions League away) D 1-1 (penalty)
68 Apr 15 Bolton Wanderers (away) W 2-0
69 Apr 17 Everton (home) W 3-0
70 Aug 20 Manchester City (home) W 3-0
71 Aug 27 Blackburn Rovers (away) W 2-0 (penalty)
72, 73 Sep 23 Fulham (away) W 2-0 (1 penalty)
74 Oct 28 Sheffield United (away) W 2-0
75 Oct 31 Barcelona (Champions League away) D 2-2
76 Nov 8 Aston Villa (League Cup home) W 4-0
77 Dec 17 Everton (away) W 3-2
78 Dec 23 Wigan Athletic (away) W 3-2
79, 80, 81 Jan 6 Macclesfield Town (FA Cup home) W 6-1 (1 penalty)
82 Jan 13 Wigan Athletic (home) W 4-0
83, 84 Jan 23 Wycombe Wanderers (League Cup home) W 4-0
85 Jan 31 Blackburn Rovers (home) W 3-0
86 Feb 3 Charlton Athletic (away) W 1-0
87, 88 Mar 11 Tottenham Hotspur (FA Cup home) D 3-3
89 Mar 14 Manchester City (away) W 1-0 (penalty)
90 Apr 15 Blackburn Rovers (FA Cup Old Trafford) W 2-1 aet
91 Aug 15 Reading (away) W 2-1
92 Aug 19 Liverpool (away) D 1-1 (penalty)
93 Aug 25 Portsmouth (home) W 1-0
94, 95, 96 Oct 31 Leicester City (League Cup home) W 4-3
97 Nov 3 Wigan Athletic (away) W 2-0
98 Dec 8 Sunderland (home) W 2-0 (penalty)
99 Dec 19 Liverpool (League Cup home) W 2-0
100, 101 Feb 16 Huddersfield Town (FA Cup home) W 3-1
102 Mar 1 West Ham (away) W 4-0 (penalty)
103 Mar 5 Olympiacos (Champions League home) W 3-0
104, 105, 106, 107 Mar 12 Derby (home) W 6-1 (1 penalty)
108 Apr 8 Fenerbahçe (Champions League home) W 2-0 (pictured below)
109 Apr 30 Liverpool (Champions League home) W 3-2 aet (penalty)
110 May 21 Man Utd (Champions League Moscow) D 1-1 aet (lost pens)
111 Aug 17 Portsmouth (home) W 4-0 (penalty)
112 Sep 13 Man City (away) W 3-1
113 Sep 16 Bordeaux (Champions League home) W 4-0
114, 115 Sep 24 Portsmouth (League Cup away) W 4-0 (1 penalty)
116 Oct 18 Middlesbrough (away) W 5-0
117 Oct 29 Hull City (away) W 3-0
118 Nov 1 Sunderland (home) W 5-0
119 Dec 26 West Bromwich Albion (home) W 2-0
120, 121 Dec 28 Fulham (away) D 2-2
122 Jan 14 Southend United (FA Cup away) W 4-1
123 Jan 17 Stoke City (home) W 2-1
124 Jan 24 Ipswich Town (FA Cup home) W 3-1
125 Feb 28 Wigan Athletic (home) W 2-1
126 Apr 4 Newcastle United (away) W 2-0
127 Apr 11 Bolton Wanderers (home) W 4-3 (penalty)
128, 129 Apr 14 Liverpool (Champions League home) D 4-4
130 May 30 Everton (FA Cup Wembley) W 2-1
131 Aug 9 Man Utd (Community Shield Wembley) D 2-2 (won pens)
132 Aug 18 Sunderland (away) W 3-1 (penalty)
133 Oct 21 Atlético Madrid (Champions League home) W 4-0
134, 135 Oct 24 Blackburn Rovers (home) W 5-0 (1 penalty)
136 Oct 31 Bolton Wanderers (away) W 4-0 (penalty)
137 Dec 16 Portsmouth (home) W 2-1 (penalty)
138 Dec 20 West Ham (away) D 1-1 (penalty)
139 Jan 3 Watford (FA Cup home) W 5-0
140, 141 Jan 16 Sunderland (home) W 7-2
142, 143 Jan 27 Birmingham City (home) W 3-0
144, 145 Feb 27 Manchester City (home) L 2-4 (1 penalty)
146 Mar 7 Stoke City (FA Cup home) W 2-0
147 Mar 24 Portsmouth (away) W 5-0
148, 149, 150, 151 Mar 27 Aston Villa (home) W 7-1 (2 penalties)
152 Apr 10 Aston Villa (FA Cup semi-final Wembley) W 3-0
153 Apr 17 Tottenham Hotspur (away) L 1-2
154, 155 Stoke City (home) W 7-0 (1 penalty)
156 May 2 Liverpool (away) W 2-0
157 May 9 Wigan Athletic (home) W 8-0 (penalty)
158 Aug 14 West Bromwich Albion (home) W 6-0
159 Jan 2 Aston Villa (home) D 3-3 (penalty)
160, 161 Jan 3 Ipswich Town (FA Cup home) W 7-0
162 Feb 1 Sunderland (away) W 4-2 (penalty)
163 Feb 19 Everton (FA Cup home) D 1-1 lost on pens
164 Mar 1 Manchester United (home) W 2-1 (penalty)
165, 166 Mar 7 Blackpool (away) W 3-1 (1 penalty)
167 Apr 16 West Bromwich Albion (away) W 3-1
168 Apr 23 West Ham United (home) W 3-0
169 Apr 30 Tottenham Hotspur (home) W 2-1
170 May 8 Manchester United (away) L 1-2
171 Aug 27 Norwich City (home) W 3-1 (penalty)
172 Sep 28 Valencia (Champions League away) D 1-1
173, 174, 175 Oct 2 Bolton Wanderers (away) W 5-1
176 Oct 29 Arsenal (home) L 3-5
177 Nov 5 Blackburn Rovers (away) W 1-0
178 Dec 12 Manchester City (home) W 2-1 (sub, penalty)
179 Jan 2 Wolverhampton Wanderers (away) W 2-1
180 Jan 8 Portsmouth (FA Cup home) W 4-0
181 Jan 14 Sunderland (home) W 1-0
182 Feb 25 Bolton Wanderers (home) W 3-0
183 Mar 14 Napoli (Champions League home) W 4-1 aet (penalty)
184 Apr 4 Benfica (Champions League home W 2-1 (penalty)
185 Apr 9 Fulham (away) D 1-1 (penalty)
186 Apr 15 Tottenham Hotspur (FA Cup Wembley) W 5-1
187 Aug 19 Wigan Athletic (away) W 2-0 (penalty)
188 Aug 22 Reading (home) W 4-2 (penalty)
189 Oct 6 Norwich City (home) W 4-1
190 Dec 23 Aston Villa (home) W 8-0
191, 192 Dec 30 Everton (away) W 2-1
193 Jan 5 Southampton (FA Cup away) W 5-1 (sub, penalty)
194 Jan 12 Stoke City (away) W 4-0 (penalty)
195 Jan 20 Arsenal (home) W 2-1 (penalty)
196 Jan 30 Reading (away) D 2-2
197 Feb 2 Newcastle United (away) L 2-3
198 Feb 9 Wigan Athletic (home) W 4-1
199 Feb 17 Brentford (FA Cup home) W 4-0
200 Mar 17 West Ham United (home) W 2-0
201 Apr 28 Swansea City (home) W 2-0 (sub, penalty)
202 203 May 11 Aston Villa (away) W 2-1
Top all-time scorers
Frank Lampard 203
Bobby Tambling 202
Kerry Dixon 193
Didier Drogba 157
Roy Bentley 150
Peter Osgood 150
Jimmy Greaves 132
George Mills 125
George Hilsdon 108
GOALS SCORED AGAINST INDIVIDUAL TEAMS
West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
Penalties 55 taken, 48 scored
Top league scorer in the top-flight
Lampard 141, Tambling 129, Bentley 128
Top FA Cup scorer
Lampard 26, Tambling 25, Bentley 21
Second highest scorer in Europe
Drogba 34, Lampard 24, Osgood 16
Second highest scorer in the League Cup
Dixon 25, Lampard 11, Osgood 10
Statistics compiled by Paul Dutton