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AVB has Frank to thank


Frank Lampard

Frank Lampard

Frank Lampard

Andre Villas-Boas praised Frank Lampard's sense of timing after the England midfielder's hat-trick helped Chelsea to a 5-1 victory over Bolton.

Lampard, who has been in and out of the team for both club and country recently, demonstrated that he still has plenty to offer by netting twice before the break and once in the second half at the Reebok Stadium, following up his midweek goal for the Blues in their 1-1 Champions League draw with Valencia in style.

"It was good for him because he had a good, solid performance alongside the rest of the team," Villas-Boas said. "He arrived with perfect timing into the box as he has done in the past years. His talent was never in question."

As well as 33-year-old Lampard, another star of the show was 22-year-old former Bolton loanee Daniel Sturridge, who gave his old club a torrid time and netted Chelsea's two other goals.

As far as Villas-Boas - himself only 33 - is concerned, players' ages are not an important issue.

"It is not a question of age - it is a question of competence, and this squad is full of competence," Villas-Boas said. "The talent of the players is never in question and I think we have enough to talent to try to continue to challenge for the Premier League."

Bolton's defending was generally poor, with goalkeeper Adam Bogdan - in the team for the injured Jussi Jaaskelainen - enduring a particularly bad afternoon, letting Daniel Sturridge's shot from the edge of the box loop in off him in the 25th minute when he should have saved, and then two minutes later parrying David Luiz's strike straight at the feet of Lampard, who tucked it away gleefully.

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Trotters boss Owen Coyle said: "Young Adam Bogdan is going to have a terrific career, there is no doubt about it.

"But the third and fourth goals should have been basic saves and that is the thing with a goalkeeper - there is no hiding place if they make a mistake, it results in a goal.

"I feel for the kid, but he has to show the character to come through that."

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