Frank Lampard reflected on a potentially huge win after coming off the bench against Swansea City to play a pivotal role in our 2-0 victory.
The Stamford Bridge favourite was given a wonderful ovation from the home supporters when he was introduced to the action in the 24th minute, replacing the injured Ramires, and two minutes before half-time he supplied the pass from which Oscar opened the scoring.
A minute later it was Lampard himself who doubled our lead, converting from the penalty spot after Juan Mata had been brought down, and he was delighted to pick up all three points.
‘Swansea are a good team but they haven’t got as much to play for as we have,’ he said. ‘Our attitude before the game was very determined, we were a little bit slow at the start of the game, but there was a feeling within the squad that we needed to win, especially with the games we have coming up, and we did the job.
‘I was quite cold coming on, I didn’t expect to come on so early, but the manager wanted to up the tempo and I thought all the players did that.
‘We played a bit higher up the pitch, had a bit more energy about us and started winning the ball back from Swansea. We stopped them playing out from the back casually, got on top of them and the goals came.’
Lampard’s 44th-minute penalty was his 201st goal for the club, leaving him only one away from equalling Bobby Tambling’s club record.
Tambling watched the game from the directors’ box before being introduced to the crowd at half-time, and Lampard was delighted to see his strike hit the back of the net in front of the man whose record he is closing in on.
‘I missed the last one against Manchester City, so you think about it a bit more, but I felt I’d score because of the momentum of coming on when the game started to change,’ said the Blues midfielder.
‘Bobby’s a gentleman. I saw him before and after the game, and you couldn’t meet a nicer person in football.
‘He’s been in poor health recently but it was great he could come across from Ireland for the game and I’m just very proud to be alongside a name like his in football terms, but also as a bloke.
‘He’s been supporting me since I got in the 100s, never mind the 200-mark, but they’re a great family, and as an ex-player there’s been no bad feeling at all. He’s been behind me to do it and he’s a pleasure to be around.’
It was a day of landmarks for Lampard, with the game his 400th Premier League appearance, while his goal ensured he becomes only the second player – alongside Andy Cole – to score against 38 different teams in the Premier League.
The 34-year-old was understandably delighted to reach two personal milestones, but his sole aim remains firmly fixed on ensuring we are playing against Europe’s best next season.
‘What’s more important is for the club to qualify for next season’s Champions League, and we’ve also got a Europa League final to try to get to and win,’ explained Lampard.
‘That’s why today was crucial, and so is Manchester United next week. If we can keep our rhythm with the way we’re playing and stay positive, the big games that are coming we need to try and win.
‘If we don’t it will go to the wire, but I believe we’ve got the strong-minded players to go and do it.’
– Watch Chelsea TV for an exclusive interview with Frank Lampard, Bobby Tambling and Kerry Dixon together.