Wheeling off into his trademark celebration, hands pointed to the sky, face beaming with unrivalled enjoyment, the Blues midfielder celebrates his 200th goal with the same euphoria as his first.
Reliable as ever, ‘Super Frank’, as he’s known on the terraces, bagged his 200th Blues goal in typical fashion, as Chelsea swept aside a functional West Ham to reclaim third spot.
Not bad for a man believed to be on his way out of the game. By defiantly proving his doubters wrong once again, Lampard led Chelsea to a much needed win to ease the pressure off of under fire interim boss, Rafael Benitez.
With Tottenham losing at home to Fulham and Arsenal in inconsistent form, Chelsea have reaffirmed themselves as huge contenders for vital Champions League qualification.
Although the 34-year old will rightly take the effusive praise for reaching this landmark feat, his achievement was overshadowed by the technical brilliance of Chelsea’s new era, in the form of Edin Hazard, Juan Mata and Oscar.
Following last weekend’s comfortable victory over the Hammers, Lampard compared the exuberant talent of the aforementioned players to that of a certain Chelsea legend, Gianfranco Zola.
This heavy praise felt like a passing of the midfield torch from the robust, direct nature of Lampard’s previous midfield’s to the slick, creative style embraced by their new guard.
Hazard, who lashed home Chelsea’s winning goal, combined with Mata and Oscar on countless occasions, carving through West Ham at will, displaying almost telepathic coherence.
Given the freedom to roam forward by the resilient Chelsea core, Mata, the catalyst, continued to pull the strings all afternoon.
Oscar, the apprentice, who has adapted well to the aggressive English game, allusively picked up space, finding the gaps to help his team penetrate the Hammers stronghold.
Constantly probing and stretching the West Ham defence, the three musketeers caused havoc throughout the game. Comfortable in possession at all times, the midfield hub were quick, precise and devastatingly effective.
In another season dominated by boardroom dismissals and inconsistent league form, the growing potential of Mata, Hazard and Oscar has been a major highlight.
Brimming with guile and confidence, the exciting midfield trio could save Benitez’s blushes by securing the Blues Champions League qualification and the Europa League crown.
Arguably, Chelsea fans should be optimistic about their future. Going forward, they will regain the monstrous Romelu Lukaku, from his season long loan at West Brom, who has shown encouraging form whilst at the Hawthorns. His arrival, added to the fluidity of Chelsea’s midfield, could create a dangerously potent attacking force next season.
Their new manager, whomever they may be, will inherit a team full of experience and guile ready to forget the woes of this season’s controversial arrangement. Ignoring the frailties of Rafa’s time at the helm, there is a beaming light at the end of this season’s dreary tunnel.