Frank Lampard Shines as Chelsea Cruise to Victory Against West Ham United

Garry HayesFeatured ColumnistNovember 23, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 23:  Frank Lampard of Chelsea celebrates scoring their first goal from the penalty spot during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Chelsea at Boleyn Ground on November 23, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

It was hardly the statement of the century, but a timely reminder nonetheless.

"Frank Lampard joined Chelsea 12 years ago and West Ham fans have never forgiven him," said Sky Sports commentator Alan Parry, midway through the first-half of the Blues' 3-0 victory at Upton Park.

After another defeat to Chelsea for the Hammers, with Lampard scoring twice, it's not hard to see why.

Most players leave clubs and rarely return to haunt their former employers the way Chelsea's No. 8 has. His brace on Saturday—opening the scores with a penalty before hitting Chelsea's third—brought his tally up to seven against his ex-team—five in his last seven matches.

It's an impressive stat and one that rivals the performance of Lampard on Saturday.

Indeed, this was a much-needed display from the 35-year-old, who hasn't enjoyed the best of seasons thus far.

Lamaprd opens the scores with his penalty.
Lamaprd opens the scores with his penalty.Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

From impressing on the opening day of the campaign, scoring a pile-driver free-kick against Hull City, he hasn't been on the scoresheet in the Premier League since.

He may be playing in a more withdrawn role these days, but with each game that has passed, it was becoming more and more of a concern.

Sitting deeper behind Chelsea's three attacking midfielders, Lampard hasn't been impacting games in the way we're used to. In fact, there have been times when they have seemed to pass him by; times when it seemed his aging years were becoming a bigger issue than they need be.

Saturday at Upton Park was different. This was vintage stuff and Lampard's two goals showed it.

His Brazilian teammate Oscar—who scored Chelsea's second—was also impressive, but on this occasion the youngster had to take a back seat and leave his more experienced comrade take the plaudits.

Lampard was involved in everything positive that Chelsea produced and the Blues dominated as a result.

"It was massive for us today and I was proud to play a part in it," reflected Lampard in his post-match interview on Sky Sports.

John Terry congratulates Lampard on his performance.
John Terry congratulates Lampard on his performance.Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

"It was bit nerve-wracking to get one here [a penalty at Upton Park] because of the atmosphere, but I put my my foot through it and was delighted to see it hit the back of the net [...] The second one dropped lovely for me and I was delighted with that."

In securing the victory, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho may have stumbled across a formula to get the best out of Lampard, a point not lost on the midfielder.

With John Obi Mikel alongside him in the pivot, it meant Lampard was given more opportunity to attack, and the Englishman reveled in the freedom.

"With Obi coming into midfield there was a bit more license to get forward from me and Rami [Ramires] and the manager wanted us to push on and not sit too deep," he reflected.

"I'm pleased to play anywhere for the manager. We've got a lot of attack-minded midfielders in the team, so if I'm in the team I'll try my best at whatever, but I do love the opportunity to get forward and get goals."

West Ham can certainly testify to that.

Garry Hayes is Bleacher Report's lead Chelsea correspondent and will be following the club from a London base throughout the 2013-14 season. Follow him on Twitter here @garryhayes