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May 11, 2013

Lampard: Goals record for my mum

Chelsea's new record goalscorer Frank Lampard dedicated his achievement to his late mother, his team-mates and the club's fans after two strikes in the win at Aston Villa saw him overhaul Bobby Tambling's 202-goal Blues milestone.

Lampard struck twice at Villa Park to haul Chelsea back from 1-0 down and seal a 2-1 win that effectively ensures Champions League football for the Stamford Bridge club next season.

And the England international said his new 203-goal record was for all those who had inspired him since his arrival at the club in 2001.

"It means everything - it's amazing," he told Sky Sports 2. "The support I've had from team-mates, you saw that at the end, and I'm thankful to every one of them because they're the ones that put it on a plate for me sometimes.

"And the fans, they've been with me for a long time and were probably frustrated alongside me [at] not getting there, so I'm just delighted. I've been here a long time.

"I lost my mum a few years ago and she was my biggest supporter, so it's for her."

He said breaking the record had meant more to him than equalling it and praised Tambling, who had been at Stamford Bridge to see him move within one goal of the record against Swansea last month.

"Bobby Tambling is a great man. He's not been well lately, but he's a great man," Lampard said. "I was pleased to level it, but I didn't want to overcook that celebration out of respect for him. But to then go and break it, I was delighted.

He said the record-breaking achievement ranked with his other finest moment in a Chelsea shirt - last season's dramatic Champions League final win over Bayern Munich in Germany - explaining: "It's right up there. "Not much beats Munich, because that was amazing for the team and the club, but, personally, it's another great day."

Chelsea's interim manager Rafa Benitez hailed the midfielder for his "fantastic achievement" and said he was hoping for more goals in the games to come - the Europa League final against Benfica in Amsterdam and the final Premier League match of the season at home to Everton.

"I said before [the game] that hopefully he can score two goals, then we don't need to talk about Frank [any more]," the Spaniard added. "It's a fantastic achievement for him to score the number of goals he has."

Chelsea had been struggling at Villa Park, having gone down to ten men when Ramires was sent off for a second bookable offence just before the break, but the game changed when Christian Benteke - who had put Villa in front in the first half - also saw red for two bookings.

Lampard said the Blues had shown character to come back and get all three points, a haul that all but assures them of Champions League football next term.

"It's huge for the team," he added. "With the games coming up next week, and particularly the [Europa League] final midweek, we wanted to put it to bed.

"It's a massive game Wednesday. We need to rest and be ready for that because it's a very tough game. At Chelsea, we're all about trying to win titles - we've done it for a long time now.''

Villa boss Paul Lambert disputed the sending off of Benteke, saying he did not believe his second offence - a high boot on John Terry - had merited a yellow card.

But he praised his players for their efforts, saying: "My team were absolutely fantastic. They gave everything they had and certainly didn't deserve that [to lose].

"They were fabulous. You can see it in the crowd, the way we played - they're getting better and better. They certainly never deserved to lose the game."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report

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