Kalou brainstorm taints Lampard’s class contribution

VALENCIA 1 vs CHELSEA 1

CHELSEA midfielder Frank Lampard hopes his goalscoring contribution against Valencia in last night’s Champions League draw will belatedly kick-start his season.

The 33-year-old, who had started three of the previous four matches on the bench, struck his first goal from open play this season with a typically adroit finish in the 56th minute.

But he was denied the full satisfaction of being hailed Chelsea’s match-winner when Saloman Kalou was penalised for handball and Roberto Soldado stroked home the subsequent spot kick three minutes from full-time.

“I always want to play, that’s a given. I’ve been like that throughout my career,” said Lampard afterwards.

“I love playing for this club. I am very proud of playing here. I’ve had knocks before in my career – it makes me work harder to come back.”

Lampard’s manager Andre Villas-Boas, who reacted angrily to questions relating to Lampard’s recent inactivity in his pre-match press conference, said: “He played well – with the rest of the team. He was playing well before. Nothing to say really.”

Of the game the Portuguese was disappointed the Blues relinquished the lead when they appeared on course to claim victory and move clear at the top of the group.

Villas-Boas brought Lampard off for Kalou with seven minutes remaining, and the new man immediately conceded a penalty with a needless handball offence.

“It was a pity because I think we looked good to get three points,” he said. “It was a very good performance from the team. I think it was more deserved for us to win this game.

“Before the game if we were offered a draw maybe we would have been happy. But it leaves us with a feeling we don’t like.”