What a week for the Champions League winners! They gained a priceless 2-0 victory over Capital One Cup winners Swansea and climbed above Arsenal into third spot in the league table. More importantly, both their London rivals, Spurs and Arsenal, could only manage draws on the weekend meaning Chelsea have gained a significant foothold in the hunt for the top four.
They are now one point ahead of fourth-placed Arsenal, with a game in hand, and three points clear of fifth-placed Spurs. Their destiny is very much in their own hands, but they have the toughest fixtures of the lot. They face newly crowned Premier League champions Manchester United at Old Trafford next weekend and a season-defining clash against Spurs at home in midweek.
They round off the campaign with a trip to Villa Park and a home clash against Everton. However, it does seem that the re-arranged clash against Spurs will decide the outcome for both the clubs. A victory would surely guarantee Champions League but a defeat could certainly prove fatal especially for AVB’s Spurs.
However, as of now, they are in the driving seat courtesy of Lampard, who made one goal and scored another after coming on a first-half substitute for the injured Ramires. He first set up Oscar to drill home Chelsea’s opener on 43 minutes and then blasted the Blues into a 2-0 lead from the penalty spot, after Mata was brought down in the area.
The England international, whose contract runs out in the summer, is now only one goal shy of equalling the club goal scoring record of Bobby Tambling, who netted 202 goals for the Blues. The midfielder has a minimum of five fixtures, and six if they qualify for the Europa League finals, to match or break the club record.
The Blues are on course to qualify for the finals of the Europa League as they hold a 2-1 advantage over Basel from the first leg. It would be fitting if Lampard can break Tabling’s record in the showpiece final on May 15.