Chelsea 7-1 Aston Villa

BY foxsports • March 27, 2010

Frank Lampard grabbed four as Chelsea demolished Aston Villa 7-1 at Stamford Bridge to soar back to the top of the Premier League table.

Lampard's quartet made him third-highest scorer in the club's history - eclipsing legends Roy Bentley and Peter Osgood with 151 goals.

Lampard was assisted by a double from Florent Malouda and another from substitute Salomon Kalou as Carlo Ancelotti's side smashed in 12 goals in four days.

Chelsea have now scored 82 goals so far this season and apart from John Carew's first-half equaliser, the Blues were in cruise control for long periods.

The victory put them back in front of Manchester United by two points although Sir Alex Ferguson's side play Bolton in the early evening kick-off.

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 Carew. 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 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.

Chelsea went 3-1 up in the 57th minute when Malouda finished off a sweeping move by the hosts. Deco's clever ball inside the full-back found Zhirkov in space and his cross was met perfectly by Malouda for the France international to score his 12th of the season. Chelsea gave away a dangerous free-kick on the edge of the penalty area seconds later when Paulo Ferreira fouled Agbonlahor. But Milner's effort was straight into the defensive wall to the dismay of the Villa fans.

Chelsea made Villa pay in the 62nd minute when Lampard grabbed his hat-trick, and his 20th of the season, with his second penalty of the game.

Zhirkov was again fouled, this time by Richard Dunne, and Lampard beat Friedel to become the joint third-highest scorer in the club's history.

It was a game of landmarks for the Blues with John Terry becoming the club's all-time record captain. His 325th appearance eclipsed former great Ron Harris and it was also Terry's 450th outing for the club. In the 68th minute, rampant Chelsea made it 5-1 when Ferreira and Lampard combined to set-up Malouda for his second of the game and his 13th of the season.

In the 82nd minute substitute Kalou sent a curling shot around Friedel's right-hand post but he found the target a minute later when he drilled the ball past Friedel from 18 yards. Lampard then made it 7-1 with his fourth of the game in added time as Villa's 10-match unbeaten run came to a crashing halt. It also made the midfielder the third-highest scorer in the club's history with 151 goals - only Kerry Dixon and Bobby Tambling are now ahead of him.

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