Four of a kind
Inside Blue Sat 17 Mar 2018
Earlier this week was the 10th anniversary of Frank Lampard adding his name to a very exclusive list by scoring four goals for Chelsea in a Premier League match.
No player has ever managed more than that in a single top-flight game for the Blues during the Premier League era, although the prolific Jimmy Greaves did hit the back of the net five times in a game, amazingly on three separate occasions, and Bobby Tambling did the same once, but both achieved their feats in the old First Division, and more than 40 years before Lampard's quadruple strike.
Super Frank hit four goals in a game for the first time on 12 March 2008 and it actually came during a difficult spell for Chelsea. Four days before we hosted Derby County in the Premier League, a Blues side without Lampard had suffered a shock FA Cup quarter-final exit at the hands of Barnsley, which was particularly painful, coming just two weeks after a League Cup final defeat to London rivals Tottenham.
However, those disappointments seemed to have given the Chelsea players plenty of motivation to show their true level when the Rams came to town, inflicting a merciless 6-1 thrashing on the visitors.
Lampard gave Derby an early warning by hitting the woodwork, but 28 minutes in, our number eight was tripped in the box by defender Dean Leacock. He calmly got up, brushed himself down and rolled the penalty past Roy Carroll himself.
Salomon Kalou made it two before half-time and then Lamps got the second-half scoring under way by converting a Joe Cole cross from close range. Cole got the next one himself, before Lampard kept the goals flowing with a trademark low shot after being teed up by Kalou and then wrong-footing Carroll at his near post following a neat one-two with Cole.
Impressively, that is not the only time Lampard has scored four times in a Premier League game for us, either. He did so for a second time on 27 March 2010, with Aston Villa his victims on that occasion.
This match was also notable as those four goals took Lamps past the 150-goals landmark with the Blues, surpassing Roy Bentley and Peter Osgood's tallies to go third on the club's all-time scorers list. Of course, he would go on to top that list by reaching an incredible total of 211 before leaving Stamford Bridge in 2014.
Against Villa, Lampard was again the man who opened the scoring, turning in Florent Malouda's cross at the near post. John Carew equalised for the Midlands side, but thankfully Lamps was on hand to retake our lead from the penalty spot right on the stroke of half-time.
We never looked back from that point as, in addition to a brace by Malouda and another by goal by Kalou, Lampard hit the net twice more in the second half, converting another penalty and then firing in his fourth from inside the box in injury time, completing a 7-1 smashing.
In Villa's defence, they were far from the only side to be on the receiving end of a heavy drubbing from Chelsea during the 2009/10 season, as we had won 5-0 at Portsmouth three days earlier, plus Stoke, Sunderland and Wigan all left the Bridge having conceded seven or more goals in that campaign.
It was a Blues side with plenty of substance to go with their style too, as we became Double winners for the first time ever by sealing the Premier League title with the 8-0 win over Wigan on the last day, before beating Portsmouth in the FA Cup final.
Lampard's goals played a big part in us lifting those two trophies, as 2009/10 was the most prolific season of his entire career. He found the net 27 times, an impressive 22 of those goals coming in the Premier League. A further three were in the FA Cup, contributing to his club-record total of 26 in that competition.
Those four-goal hauls certainly put Lampard in esteemed company, as the only other people to have done that in the Premier League are Gianluca Vialli (in a 6-0 win at Barnsley in August 1997) and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (during a 6-1 victory over Coventry in October 2000). It's well worth noting that those two were both leading our attack as strikers, rather than Lamps' midfield role, and obviously their solitary achievements, as impressive as they are, still leave Super Frank standing alone as the only person to have hit four goals in a Premier League game for Chelsea twice.