England midfielder Frank Lampard has become the first Chelsea star to win the club's Player of the Year award for the third time.

Lampard, who won the title in 2004 and 2005, was again voted the leading performer over the season by the fans and received the trophy from interim coach Guus Hiddink on a night when Michael Essien, Michael Mancienne and Ashley Cole also won prizes.

The midfielder went one better than John Hollins, Charlie Cooke, Ray Wilkins, David Webb, John Terry, Dennis Wise and Gianfranco Zola - who have all won the award twice - and Lampard declared: "It feels great because of the amount of top-quality players who have won this award."

He added: "When I came here I never expected to win it three times at all, I just wanted to establish myself but getting this award and the recognition from your own fans is a huge thing in football. I am absolutely delighted."

Essien's thunderous left-foot volley at home to Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final, second leg was voted Chelsea's Goal of the Season by supporters. It was the second time in three years the Ghanaian has won the accolade.

In 2007, he was honoured for a 30-yard shot against Arsenal at Stamford Bridge. Essien's trophy was just reward for a player who missed the first six months of the season with knee ligament damage. The Ghanaian was injured on international duty last September and only returned to action in February.

His stunning volley, which crashed into the net off the underside of the crossbar, gave Chelsea real hope of reaching the final of the Champions League for the second successive year.

However, Barca midfielder Andres Iniesta scored a last-minute equaliser to rob the Blues of a repeat final against Manchester United in Rome.

"It is always good to win something," said Essien. "We put effort in to win trophies and win personal trophies, so it is great.

"I meant to do it because when I saw the ball coming that was the only option that came to my mind, I tried to take it and I had a bit of luck. It is difficult to score those kinds of goals and you need a bit of luck."

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Topics:
#Arsenal
#European News
#Ashley Cole
#John Terry
#Chelsea
#Premier League
#UEFA Champions League
#Manchester United
#Gianfranco Zola
#Michael Mancienne
#Michael Essien
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