Can Chelsea really afford to let Frank Lampard go?

The 34 year old scored twice to help Chelsea come back from a goal down and climb back to third place in the league, strengthening his case for a new contract.
Chelsea registered their fourth successive win as Rafael Benitez's side came back from a goal down to win 2-1 against Everton thanks to Frank Lampard's brace on either side of half-time to push them back into third place. This was the first time Chelsea had won three successive Premier League away games in the same season since August-Sept 2009.

Lampard's match events

42' and 72'
  • Frank Lampard has now scored 5+ goals in each of the last 16 Premier League seasons.
  • Frank Lampard needs 1 more goal to go level with Kerry Dixon on 193 Chelsea goals.
  • Frank Lampard vs Everton: 2 Goals, 4 Shots [2 on target], 3 chances created, 2 tackles, 1 interception, 62 touches on the ball.
  • Frank Lampard created 3 chances today, highest in the game & the same amount as Oscar, Hazard, Mata combined.
Benitez opted for a more cautious approach as Ramires was selected over Victor Moses and Oscar on the right side of the midfield to neutralise the threat of Steven Pienaar and Leighton Baines. John Obi Mikel's absence due to an injury meant Frank Lampard returned to the side after missing the mid-week game against Norwich City.

David Moyes on the other hand opted for a 4-4-2 formation with Victor Anichebe playing alongside Nikica Jelavic upfront. David Moyes was missing Marouane Fellaini due to suspension and with Darren Gibson and Phil Neville out due to injuries, the Scot shifted from his usual 4-5-1 formation to a 4-4-2.

It took 63 seconds for Everton to take the lead thanks to Steven Pienaar's goal from Victor Anichebe's header that came off the post. It was the South African's fourth goal of the season as he pulled out his "God is great" t-shirt to celebrate in front of the Everton fans. Phil Jagielka took advantage of some sloppy football from Eden Hazard and Ashley Cole on the left and it was his cross that found Anichebe unmarked on the far post.

Chelsea struggled for the first 30 minutes of the game managing only 32% of the possession with Fernando Torres barely managing a touch on the ball. It looked like one of those days when Chelsea's midfield had no answer going forward. Chelsea lacked John Obi Mikel's presence for most part of the game as neither Frank Lampard nor David Luiz played the defensive role as good as the Nigerian.

The Pensioners were lucky to scrap an equaliser late in the first half as some neat Fernando Torres footwork found Ramires on the edge of the box who put in a wonderful cross for Frank Lampard to head it past Tim Howard. It was a goal Chelsea hardly deserved as they were the second best for most part of the game.

The Blues finally took the lead mid-way into the second half thanks to Frank Lampard's 192nd goal for the club. The goal was mostly down to Eden Hazard and Juan Mata as the Belgian's mis-timed header found the Spanish playmaker whose shot was blocked by Howard. The rebound fell straight to Lampard who pounced and did the needful. It was Everton's first loss of the season at Goodison Park.

STAT: Chelsea have won 9 out of the 10 games in league when Lampard has started

There were of chants of "sign him up" echoing around Goodison Park as Frank Lampard celebrated his second goal in front of the Chelsea fans. The 34-year old is running out of time at the South West London club as his eventful stay at Chelsea could finally come to an end at the end of the season. Lampard's brace was a reminder for Chelsea that time is running out for them as the midfielder can open contract negotiations with other clubs come New Year.

Lampard in his post match comments said, "We haven't been talking [about a new contract] in the last couple of weeks and I'm just concentrating on playing. Playing games gives me enough satisfaction, then what will be, will be." The midfielder added, "From the minute I came here, I've said it a million times - they've been behind me and I've always got Chelsea in me for life."

Frank Lampard still has a lot to offer

The English midfielder has often been criticised this season for his slow movement and his lack of ability to provide those key passes from the back to the quick and skillful front players. However Lampard once again stamped his authority in the game as he matched his team-mates shoulder-to-shoulder throughout the 90 minutes.

It was a daunting task for Rafa Benitez at Goodison Park, a stadium where Chelsea haven't won in the league since the days of Avram Grant, so starting with Frank Lampard was yet another way of winning over the fans. Lampard's calmness and experience has helped Chelsea as he has started to pick up more games under new manager Rafa Benitez compared to Roberto Di Matteo's reign. Much has been made of Chelsea's dressing room issues with managers in the past costing them their job, but Benitez has made no such mistake as he has counted on his key and experienced players on a regular basis.

Signed from West Ham United back in 2001 for a mere £11.5 million, the Romford-born midfielder has been one of the most loved and disciplined players for the club. Chelsea have had their fair share of controversies however Lampard has rarely let the club down with his actions. In his time at Chelsea, he has broken several records and is definetely up there amongst the best who have donned the Blue jersey.

Lampard deserves a new contract

Even as he turns 34, there are several rumours linking him with a move away from Chelsea. Lampard, who had previously stated that he wouldnt want to leave London due to family reasons, could possibly leave the English capital in search of guaranteed first team action.

Roman Abramovich, the Chelsea owner, had outlined the new contract policy at the start of the season wherein players above the age of 30 are offered only a one-year extension which hasn't allegedly gone down well with the likes of Lampard and Ashley Cole. The midfielder currently earns £130,000-a-week a salary which can be matched easily by several clubs across the globe.

His performance on Sunday was a reminder that he still has a lot to offer to Chelsea and the ball is in Abramovich's court.

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