Frank Lampard reached a formidable milestone on Tuesday evening when he walked out on to the pitch for the Champions League clash with Shakhtar Donetsk.
The 34-year-old made his 100th appearance for Chelsea in European competitions, though he would have been hoping it was a little more memorable.
Lampard went down with a calf injury and was withdrawn after just 18 minutes played, before Chelsea went on to be beaten 2-1 by an impressive Shakhtar side.
Out of the 100, what are the England international’s greatest moments in Europe? Well, GMF picked out five of them, and here they are:
v Levski Sofia, UEFA Cup, first round, first leg, 20/09/01
Chelsea had finished sixth in the Premier League the season before and were desperate to improve on their embarrassing first round exit to St Gallen of Switzerland the year before. Lampard had arrived that summer as the marquee signing in an £11million deal and made his Blues Europeran debut against Levski Sofia at Stamford Bridge
v Levski Sofia, UEFA Cup, first round, first leg, 20/09/2012
Lampard’s European debut for Chelsea couldn’t have gone much better with a few minutes to go; the side were 2-0 up and cruising against the minnows from Bulgaria. In the 90th minute he put some gloss on the scoreline and added a third to effectively end the tie, scoring his first European goal for Chelsea in the process.
v Liverpool, UEFA Champions League, quarter-final, second leg, 14/04/09
This was one of the most entertaining Champions League games in the history of the competition and Lampard played a crucial role in making sure Chelsea came out on top. They had won the first leg 3-1 but Liverpool rallied and took a 2-0 lead going into half-time.
Chelsea took over at the restart though; goals from Didier Drogba and Alex were followed by Lampard putting the Blues in the lead on the night for the first time. Liverpool came back again with two goals and needed only one more to go through on away goals, but Lampard was there again with just a minute remaining and put the tie to bed.
v Manchester United, UEFA Champions League Final, 21/05/08
Chelsea ended up losing on penalties in Moscow, but there can be few greater individual moments for a player than scoring in the final of club football’s biggest prize. The Blues were looking lacklustre too, after Cristiano Ronaldo had given Sir Alex Ferguson’s side the lead and it was out of almost nothing when Lampard levelled just before half time.
v Bayern Munich, UEFA Champions League final, 19/05/12
As soon as Didier Drogba slotted in the winning penalty, Chelsea’s triumph against Bayern Munich was always going to be the pinnacle of the careers of most the players. The Blues’ tactics meant Lampard had to play a more defensive role than usual, but the nature of the win meant every player was needed to complete an unlikely success.
What do you think Lampard’s greatest moments for Chelsea in Europe are? Leave a comment below to let us know…
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