Kompany: Lampard goal may be vital
Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany believes Frank Lampard's dramatic equaliser against former club Chelsea could prove to be a pivotal moment in the title race.
Barclays Premier League trophies are rarely won and lost in September, and never after five games of the season, but Kompany has plenty of experience at the business end of the competition and knows the trophy can be settled by little moments.
Lampard's late volley against the side he represented for 13 distinguished years felt significant and not just because of the personal link between player and club.
In one touch the former England midfielder gave 10-man City a 1-1 draw and an unlikely share of the spoils, and keeping his club within five points of the leaders rather than an imposing seven.
"Ever since I have been at this club, seasons and big moments have been decided on small events like this one so I will never under-estimate what it could mean to our season. It could be crucial," said Kompany.
"Frank brings quality. The goal he scored you would have seen from him for the last 15 years in the Premier League.
"He is clever and still extremely motivated.
"He brings experience. It is not a word you make up, it is something that helps and it is like his goal: keeping your head cool in a moment when you are under pressure and down to 10 men - how many players would have scored that goal? He has proven it himself in only a few minutes, which is good."
Lampard will not be around when the title race is settled, with a new life at New York City waiting for him in the new year, but Kompany believes both parties are getting a good deal from his short-term loan arrangement.
"I think it goes both ways. He needed what we can offer him and I think we needed what he can bring to us," said the Belgian.
"If you talk to him I reckon that's how he sees it as well and his goal was just the icing on the cake.
"Ultimately you play so many competitions you need all the guys to be there and he is another who will clearly make our team stronger."
The nature of the Major League Soccer schedule does offer the tantalising prospect of a future return for Lampard, though at 36 this would appear to be his farewell to English football.
Kompany does not know if the chance will come again but has no doubts Lampard is still up to the task.
"That is not for me to judge, I think he has his personal plans as well, but I can base things on what I see day in, day out on the training ground and he is one of the better players," added the City skipper.
"That is as simple as it is. The rest is not up to me."