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Lampard battles through inner turmoil to inspire victory
May 01, 2008 15:04 IST
Frank Lampard [Images] controlled his inner turmoil and scored with a brilliantly taken penalty to put Chelsea within sight of their first Champions League final on Wednesday.
The 29-year-old England [Images] midfielder, whose mother Pat died at 58 from pneumonia last Thursday, then let his guard down and wept with emotion while his celebrating team mates swamped him.
The goal, after 98 minutes of a pulsating Champions League semi-final second leg against Liverpool, turned the match Chelsea's way, put them 2-1 ahead and in sight of the final in Moscow [Images].
Seven minutes later Didier Drogba [Images] scored his second goal of the night to make it 3-1 and although Liverpool hit back through Ryan Babel [Images], Chelsea survived to win 4-3 on aggregate and set up an all-English final against Manchester United [Images] on May 21.
Lampard, so often Chelsea's driving force and saviour, had a night to remember. Television pictures showed his father Frank senior, the former West Ham United player, looking on with proud satisfaction after the penalty.
His son had not only put Chelsea ahead but also played a major role in Chelsea's opening goal, setting up the move that led to Drogba scoring after 33 minutes. He was crucial to much of Chelsea's midfield superiority on a heavy pitch lashed by rain for almost all the 120 minutes of the match.
Although he had not trained as much as usual since his mother's death, Lampard still had the physical and mental strength to influence the game hugely until he came off to a standing ovation close to the end.
Chelsea manager Avram Grant said he had decided to select Lampard on Tuesday.
"He's a very brave man. He was very close to his mother," Grant said. "It was his decision to return to training."
Drogba paid tribute to his team mate.
"It was very special penalty," he said. "Only Frank Lampard could do that. It was a difficult moment for him but he knew the whole club was behind him."
UEFA Champions League 2007-08: The Complete Coverage