Frank Lampard scored twice to set a new Chelsea scoring record as the Blues came back from a goal down to beat Aston Villa 2-1 at Villa Park on Saturday.
The 34-year-old, who is out of contract at season’s end, equalled Bobby Tambling’s 43-year-old mark in the 58th minute and set a new record with his 203rd goal for the club in the 87th.
Both Ramires and Christian Benteke were ejected during an eventful afternoon in the West Midlands. John Terry, following a scramble inside the Villa box, had to be carried off on a stretcher with 16 minutes remaining.
Following an entertaining start to the day’s only Premier League match, Benteke had the hosts in front just short of the quarter-hour.
Picking up the ball as he crossed into Chelsea territory, the Belgium international rounded Gary Cahill and beat a frozen Petr Cech to the near post for his 19th league goal of the season and 14th in 2013.
But he could have been shown a straight red card for an elbow to the face of Cesar Azpilicueta in the 40th minute. Lee Mason’s decision to present the 22-year-old with only a yellow was amplified just prior to the break when the referee sent off Ramires for a high challenge on Gabriel Agbonlahor.
Ten minutes after the restart, however, numerical equality was restored when Benteke picked up his second booking for another incident involving Azpilicueta. This time it was a high boot that rather resembled Nani’s challenge on Alvaro Arbeloa in a Champions League encounter between Manchester United and Real Madrid back in March.
It took just three minutes for Chelsea to equalize.
Accepting Eden Hazard’s layoff just inside the 18-yard box, Lampard cut briefly to his left before unleashing a low, hard shot that beat Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan to the far corner and tied Tambling’s record of 202 Chelsea goals.
Then, in the 71st minute, the guests should have been ahead after Demba Ba’s shot crossed the line. A quick clearance from Ashley Westwood had the ball back in play before the match officials could make a clear decision.
Still, Chelsea were not to be denied. With just three minutes remaining in normal time, Lampard got his long-awaited goal.
Again it was Hazard who played provider. After a neat give-and-go with Ashley Cole, the 22-year-old slid the ball to Lampard. He had to only stab the ball past Guzan for his record-setting 203rd tally for the club.
The only downside to the match for Chelsea was the injury to Terry. With just two matches remaining this season, there is a chance the longtime captain has played his final match for the club.