Chelsea 7 Aston Villa 1: Frank Lampard hits four as rampant Blues go top

27 March 2010 05:08
Frank Lampard grabbed four as Chelsea demolished Aston Villa to soar back to the top of the Barclays Premier League table.

Lampard's quartet made him third-highest scorer in the club's history - eclipsing legends Roy Bentley and Peter Osgood with 151 goals.

Lampard was assisted by a double from Florent Malouda and another from substitute Salomon Kalou as Carlo Ancelotti's side smashed in 12 goals in four days.

Chelsea have now scored 82 goals so far this season and apart from John Carew's first-half equaliser, the Blues were in cruise control for long periods.

The victory put them back in front of Manchester United by two points although Sir Alex Ferguson's side play Bolton in the early evening kick-off.

On top of the pile: Frank Lampard's four goals sent Chelsea to the Premier League summit

Chelsea, who left 30-goal top scorer Didier Drogba on the bench,started brightly enough with Deco finding Nicolas Anelka inside theVilla penalty area in the third minute.

But the France international, given the task of leading the attackin place of Drogba, shot into the arms of Brad Friedel at his near post.

Drogba, who scored twice in the 5-0 midweek demolition ofPortsmouth, was rested according to the club's assistant coach RayWilkins.

Lampard tried to surprise Friedel in the 14th minute with a lowdrive from 30 yards but the American goalkeeper was untroubled by thebounce.

But Chelsea went ahead a minute later when Malouda's low cross was turned home at the far post by Lampard.

Absolutely flying: Florent Malouda fired Chelsea's fifth - his fourth in two games

It was the England midfielder's 18th goal of the season in all competitions.

Villa's Stephen Warnock required treatment to a head injury after a collision with Joe Cole in the 23rd minute.

Controversy erupted in the 27th minute when John Mikel Obi appeared to elbow James Milner.

But referee Peter Walton booked Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov forprotesting about Mikel's challenge and took no action against theChelsea midfielder.

However, Villa were jubilant in the 29th minute when they equalised through Carew.

He converted a superb curling cross from Ashley Young at the far post to score his ninth goal in eight games.

Smashing: Frank Lampard beats Aston Villa's Brad Friedel from the penalty spot

Moments later Yury Zhirkov, who was clearly at fault for allowingCarew to ghost into space at the far post for Villa's goal, was bookedfor a foul Gabriel Agbonlahor.

Deco followed his Chelsea team-mate in the book moments later for a foul on Milner in the 40th minute.

But Chelsea restored their lead in the 44th minute through a Lampard penalty.

Referee Walton adjudged Zhirkov had been fouled by Villa defenderJames Collins as he burst into the penalty area and Lampard convertedthe spot-kick with ease.

Chelsea went 3-1 up in the 57th minute when Malouda finished off a sweeping move by the hosts.

Level pegging: John Carew hit his ninth goal in his last eight games to briefly restore parity

Deco's clever ball inside the full-back found Zhirkov in space andhis cross was met perfectly by Malouda for the France international toscore his 12th of the season.

Chelsea gave away a dangerous free-kick on the edge of the penalty area seconds later when Paulo Ferreira fouled Agbonlahor.

But Milner's effort was straight into the defensive wall to the dismay of the Villa fans.

Chelsea made Villa pay in the 62nd minute when Lampard grabbed hishat-trick, and his 20th of the season, with his second penalty of thegame.

Zhirkov was again fouled, this time by Richard Dunne, and Lampardbeat Friedel to become the joint third-highest scorer in the club'shistory.

Slide rule: The Villa defence is in tatters as Frank Lampard opens the scoring

It was a game of landmarks for the Blues with John Terry becomingthe club's all-time record captain. His 325th appearance eclipsedformer great Ron Harris and it was also Terry's 450th outing for theclub.

In the 68th minute, rampant Chelsea made it 5-1 when Ferreira andLampard combined to set-up Malouda for his second of the game and his13th of the season.

In the 82nd minute substitute Kalou sent a curling shot aroundFriedel's right-hand post but he found the target a minute later whenhe drilled the ball past Friedel from 18 yards.

Lampard then made it 7-1 with his fourth of the game in added time as Villa's 10-match unbeaten run came to a crashing halt.

It also made the midfielder the third-highest scorer in the club'shistory with 151 goals - only Kerry Dixon and Bobby Tambling are nowahead of him.

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Source: Daily_Mail