Frank Lampard's 5 Best Premier League Performances
Rafa Benitez has already let the England midfielder know he is not a part of his plans for next season (even though Rafa doesn't know if he is part of Chelsea's plans next season), and he has been linked with the likes of LA Galaxy (LA Times), Lazio (Mirror) and even Manchester United (Daily Mail).
At the halfway stage of what might be Lampard's final Premier League season, here are five of his best performances in England's top flight.
West Ham vs. Middlesbrough, May 1999
On the final day of the 1998/1999 season, West Ham needed a win against visiting Middlesbrough to secure fifth spot in the table and a place in Europe. The Hammers duly secured their first European appearance in 19 years and their second-highest-ever league placing, thanks to a rousing 4-0 victory.
In a career-defining performance—befitting of a season during which he had been ever-present for West Ham—Frank Lampard scored the first goal after just four minutes. Marc Keller, Trevor Sinclair and Paolo Di Canio completed the scoreline.
In the subsequent European campaign that Lampard helped West Ham earn, he was the club's top scorer with four in 10 games.
Everton vs. Chelsea, December 2006
Frank Lampard may have scored a brilliant brace on his most recent visit to Everton, but the 34-year-old is no stranger to superb performances at Goodison Park.
In their December 2006 meeting, Lampard had been distributing first-class passes all afternoon, but the Blues were 2-1 down and looking to lose ground with Manchester United in the title race.
In the 81st minute, Salomon Kalou threaded a ball to Lampard on the outside of the area, and he dispatched one of his finest league goals in a Chelsea shirt.
Chelsea went on to win the match 3-2 after a brilliant Didier Drogba volley and stayed within two points of the Red Devils at the top of the table.
West Ham vs. Bradford, February 2000
West Ham's meeting with Bradford in February of 2000 had everything a football fan could want: goals, drama, petty squabbles, injuries and fine performances from a number of players.
One such player was Frank Lampard, who started a memorable day by helping to set up Trevor Sinclair's opener with a fine flick.
The game is renowned for one of the stranger incidents in Upton Park history, the heated penalty argument between Paolo Di Canio and Lampard in the second half. With the Hammers 4-2 down and awarded a penalty for a foul on Paul Kitson, the teammates bickered like schoolchildren over who would take the spot kick.
The Italian won the argument, but Lampard had the last laugh, scoring a spectacular winner from range to give an unlikely 5-4 final scoreline.
Chelsea vs. Birmingham, January 2010
In January of 2010, title-chasing Chelsea welcomed Birmingham to Stamford Bridge, a side who were undefeated in their previous 15 games.
In a 3-0 victory that helped a resilient Blues side climb back to the top of the Premier League, Florent Malouda opened the scoring.
Then, the Frank Lampard show began. His first goal was a trademark 20-yard strike, and then in the 90th minute, he fired another rocket past City keeper Joe Hart.
Chelsea vs. Bolton, April 2005
Jose Mourinho's Chelsea headed to the Reebok Stadium in April of 2005 knowing that victory would ensure the Blues' first league title in 50 years with three games to spare.
Frank Lampard was the hero of the day, scoring a brilliant opener on the 61st minute and then sealing the match—and the league—16 minutes later. Lampard has often cited this second goal as his favorite in his esteemed career.
For his services during 2004/05, Lampard was named Barclays Player of the Season and the Football Writers' Association Player of the Year.