Frank Lampard expects Chelsea to qualify for Champions League

Midfielder on verge of club goalscoring record

Frank Lampard is confident Chelsea will secure a return to the Champions League next season at the end of another turbulent campaign at Stamford Bridge.

The 34-year-old midfielder's 201st Chelsea goal - a penalty which saw him move within one of the watching Bobby Tambling's club goalscoring record - completed a 2-0 victory over Swansea yesterday to take last season's Champions League winners to third in the Barclays Premier League.

Lampard is out of contract at the end of the season and has five games remaining - six if Chelsea advance to the Europa League final by beating Basle on Thursday night - to surpass Tambling's mark.

But the England international is focused on collective, rather than personal glory.

"What's more important is for the club to qualify for next season's Champions League, and we've also got a Europa League final to try to get to and win," Lampard told Chelsea TV.

"That's why [the Swansea win] was crucial, and so is Manchester United next week.

"If we can keep our rhythm with the way we're playing and stay positive, the big games that are coming we need to try and win.

"If we don't it will go to the wire, but I believe we've got the strong-minded players to go and do it."

Chelsea play Manchester United, Tottenham, Aston Villa and Everton in their remaining four league games and currently hold a one-point lead over fourth-placed Arsenal, having played a game fewer, and a three-point advantage over Spurs.

Lampard began the Swansea contest on the bench, but came on for dead-leg victim Ramires midway through the first half, set up Oscar's opener and converted a penalty for his first goal in eight appearances.

As well as drawing him closer to Tambling's tally, Lampard celebrated his 400th Chelsea appearance in the Premier League and 800th career appearance by becoming only the second player, alongside Andy Cole, to score against 38 different teams in the Premier League.

Lampard, who paid tribute to Tambling, was relieved to net the spot-kick after failing to score a penalty at Manchester City in February.

"I missed the last one against Manchester City, so you think about it a bit more, but I felt I'd score because of the momentum of coming on when the game started to change," he said.

Lampard's inclusion injected much-needed impetus into Chelsea's play, while Gary Cahill performed well on his return from minor knee surgery alongside John Terry, who started back-to-back matches for the first time since February.

The former Bolton defender suffered the injury against West Ham, on the day Lampard brought up his double century.

Cahill told Chelsea TV: "It's great to be back now.

"It's been three weeks since the surgery, so it's been a great turnaround.

"I felt good. I've done a lot of hard work in the past couple of weeks and that's paid off. It feels strong, it feels good."

Cahill felt Chelsea needed to make amends for their Capital One Cup semi-final loss to Swansea and enhance their bid for a return to the Champions League.

"We have to push for third," he said.

"It's put us in a good position at this moment in time.

"We needed to win, because I felt over two legs we didn't give a good account of ourselves. We owed them one."

One of Swansea's substitutes enjoyed his afternoon almost as much as Lampard.

Wales left-back Neil Taylor came off the bench for his first appearance since breaking his ankle against Sunderland last September.

"I'm just glad to be back," he said on http://www.swanseacity.net.

"I'm always ready and hoping to get on, but with how the game was balanced the manager realised he could give me an opportunity.

"I have another hard week of training ahead for me. The end of the season is coming quickly, but I don't want it to end."

Capital One Cup winners Swansea, now winless in six, next face deposed 2011-12 champions Manchester City at the Liberty Stadium, with Taylor keen to feature.

"It's not an easy run-in at all, but we're at home and we want to get a result badly for our fans," he added.

"It's going to be difficult but we need to get something to stop the rot.

"I'm hoping, too, that I can possibly get the chance to play in front of our fans at home too, which would be great."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?
Season's finale brings the end of an era for top coaches and players across the continent

The end of an era across the continent

It's time to say farewell to Klopp, Clement, Casillas and Xavi this weekend as they move on to pastures new, reports Pete Jenson
Bin Laden documents released: Papers reveal his obsession with attacking the US and how his failure to keep up with modern jihad led to Isis

'Focus on killing American people'

Released Bin Laden documents reveal obsession with attacking United States
Life hacks: The innovations of volunteers and medical workers are helping Medécins Sans Frontières save people around the world

Medécins Sans Frontières's life hacks

The innovations of volunteers and medical workers around the world are helping the charity save people
Ireland's same-sex marriage vote: As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?

Same-sex marriage

As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?
The underworld is going freelance: Why The Godfather's Mafia model is no longer viable

The Mafia is going freelance

Why the underworld model depicted in The Godfather is no longer viable