Sun Mar 28, 2010 03:29
Frank Lampard scored four goals as a rampant Chelsea sent out a warning at the top of the Premier League with an emphatic 7-1 win over Aston Villa.
UEFA Champions League hopefuls Villa travelled to Stamford Bridge in optimistic mood, but they were ripped apart as the Blues put in a clinical performance in front of goal.
Lampard put Chelsea ahead as he tapped in a Florent Malouda cross at the far post after 15 minutes, but a carbon copy at the other end saw John Carew latch onto an Ashley Young ball to knock home an equaliser.
Before half-time Lampard tucked away a penalty after Yuri Zhirkov was fouled in the area and Malouda scored from close range 12 minutes after the break.
Things went from bad to worse for the away side as Lampard added a further penalty, Malouda and substitute Salomon Kalou both found the net, before Lampard completed the rout in injury time.
Chelsea, who left 30-goal top scorer Didier Drogba on the bench, started brightly enough with Deco finding Nicolas Anelka inside the Villa penalty area in the third minute.
But the France international, given the task of leading the attack in place of
Drogba, shot into the arms of Brad Friedel at his near post.
Drogba, who scored twice in the 5-0 midweek demolition of Portsmouth, was rested according to the club's assistant coach Ray Wilkins.
Lampard tried to surprise Friedel in the 14th minute with a low drive from 30 yards but the American goalkeeper was untroubled by the bounce.
But Chelsea went ahead a minute later when Malouda's low cross was turned home at the far post by Lampard.
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 for protesting about Mikel's challenge and took no action against the Chelsea midfielder.
However, Villa were jubilant in the 29th minute when they equalised through
He converted a superb curling cross from Ashley Young at the far post to score his ninth goal in eight games.
Moments later Yury Zhirkov, who was clearly at fault for allowing Carew to ghost into space at the far post for Villa's goal, was booked for a foul on 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 defender James Collins as he burst into the penalty area and Lampard converted the spot-kick with ease.
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