Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Thugs spoil Frank Lampard's 200 Chelsea goal landmark by throwing coins

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 17:  Frank Lampard of Chelsea celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on March 17, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: Frank Lampard of Chelsea celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on March 17, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: David Luiz of Chelsea shoots at goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on March 17, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: The Chelsea Manager Rafael Benitez gives instructions during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on March 17, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: Ashley Cole of Chelsea heads the ball away as Gary Cahill of Chelsea battles with Andy Carroll of West Ham United in the box during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on March 17, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: Frank Lampard of Chelsea in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on March 17, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: Eden Hazard of Chelsea celebrates after scoring their second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on March 17, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: Eden Hazard of Chelsea scores their second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on March 17, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: Eden Hazard of Chelsea (L) celebrates with Victor Moses after scoring their second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on March 17, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: Eden Hazard of Chelsea celebrates after scoring their second goal in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on March 17, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: Gary Cahill of Chelsea wins a header from Andy Carroll of West Ham United during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on March 17, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: Eden Hazard of Chelsea celebrates after scoring their second goal in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on March 17, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: Frank Lampard of Chelsea celebrates scoring the opening goal with his team mates during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on March 17, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: Jack Collison of West Ham (L) in action with Juan Mata of Chelsea during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on March 17, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 17: Gary Cahill of Chelsea wins the ball from Carlton Cole of West Ham United during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on March 17, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)

Frank Lampard's landmark 200th goal for Chelsea was marred by controversy after West Ham United fans showered him with coins during the celebration. Lampard scored in the 19th minute to set Chelsea on their way to a 2-0 victory over his former club and it provoked a furious response from the West Ham fans behind the goal.

The Hammers supporters had already targeted the Chelsea substitute John Terry, who was warming up provocatively towards the old Shed End and had passed on a number of coins to stewards. When Lampard opened the scoring with a header he immediately sought out his team-mate on the touchline. The resulting tumult enraged the away fans, who let go a hail of minted missiles.

Neither Lampard nor the team managers made much of the incident, preferring to focus on the achievement, which leaves him only two behind Chelsea's record scorer Bobby Tambling. Of his day, Lampard said: "It is one of my best. Obviously, winning the Champions League and championships are the best, but personally getting 200 goals for the club, I never thought I would touch that so I am pleased to get it.

"Everyone keeps talking about the goalscoring record, I would rather people kept quiet. The important thing is trying to score goals to win games. We are in good form and everyone is at it. There is a good feeling around the place and we need to carry it on until the end of the season."

Ironically, the incident could result in a fine for Chelsea, should the FA chose to act on the referee's report. There were no evictions or arrests made but the police are investigating the incident and West Ham said that any fans identified faced a ban from Upton Park. The fourth official, Howard Webb, instructed the Chelsea players to warm-up at the other end to avoid a repeat.

Chelsea's interim coach, Rafael Benitez, said: "When you score 200 goals, you don't think about where you go. You celebrate. Afterwards, he realised it would be better to be in another part (of the ground). I don't think he was hit (by a missile). Howard Webb said it would be better if the players warmed up the other way. It was his decision."

Benitez hailed Lampard as a fantastic player: "This is a great achievement. You can see him working hard in training all the time. We have a lot of games to play, so hopefully he will score more. I will give credit to the rest of the team, too. When you play others like Rami, they allow him to get forward."

Eden Hazard, who gave arguably his finest display in a Chelsea shirt, added a second five minutes after the break. Chelsea might have hit a dozen and not been flattered, a fact which was acknowledged by the West Ham manager, Sam Allardyce. "Frank Lampard is the ghost in the box that nobody seems to see. Massive credit to him for 200 goals in his career. A quality ball and a quality finish. Sometimes you can't defend the quality they've got."

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