Late Lampard breaks Blues’ win drought

WOLVES (1) vs CHELSEA (2)


CHELSEA hero Frank Lampard admits he was lucky to still be on the pitch to snatch the late goal that earned the Blues a first win in five matches.

Lampard volleyed home Ashley Cole’s 89th-minute cross after Stephen Ward’s equaliser, just moments earlier, appeared to have rendered Ramires’ opener redundant.

But the England midfielder (right) might have been sent off for a first-half challenge on Adam Hammill for which he concedes he was fortunate to escape with a booking.

“My heart was in my mouth over that challenge, I have to admit that,” said Lampard. “There was no malice but I was late and I might have been a bit lucky to stay on.”

Victory lifted Chelsea back into the top four and brought under-pressure manager Andre Villas-Boas some much-needed cheer following a miserable festive run. His players ran to celebrate with him and his bench after Ramires had poked into the top corner from Juan Mata’s corner – a gesture he denied he had instigated.

“It’s just part of them showing the unity of the team,” said Villas-Boas. “I did not know the celebration was coming.”

Chelsea remain eight points off the top of the Premier League, with the top two still to play this week, and Villas-Boas insisted his team needed greater consistency to challenge them.

“If we go on a winning streak of five or six games, which we are capable of, we can be fighting for this league,” he added.

Ward drove a low equaliser from amid a busy penalty area, but his relief was short-lived as Lampard met Cole’s pacy cross with a firm side-footed volley from close range.