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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Apr 9, 2008

Lampard ignores talk of revenge mission

Frank Lampard has warned revenge could be a dangerous emotion as Chelsea seek to banish the heartache of their two Champions League semi-final defeats to Liverpool.

The Blues' 3-2 aggregate win over Fenerbahce in the quarter-finals set up a third last-four meeting with the Reds in four years.

Chelsea failed to win the previous two meetings at the same stage but this time the crucial return leg will be at Stamford Bridge and not Anfield.

Lampard is hopeful that will give his side an advantage as they look to overcome the Merseysiders and reach the Champions League final for the first time.

'The last two times we played we got knocked out but that will have no bearing on this semi-final,' said Lampard. 'To go into a game with revenge on your mind is not the right emotion to take into a game.

'Champions League is very much about keeping your head and concentrating for the whole 90 minutes in both legs. I don't think it is about revenge, it is about the golden carrot of getting to the final.

'I am sure Liverpool will have the same motivation to get to the final. They are not going to win the league this year and we are still fighting for that. They are fighting all on one front.

'We will both have a lot of motivation to get there. But, I won't lie, it would be great to get to the final this year.

'In the semi-final, you can't dictate who you play against. We have had some disappointing moments against them and they are a very accomplished champions League team.

'They will have the added benefit of not having to go for it in the league as they look pretty secure in fourth place.

'It will be a tough tie. Maybe going up their first can be a bonus. But it only helps if you get the right result.

'If you give yourself a mountain to climb, it won't help. In modern-day Champions League, the away goal seems to become more and more important.

'So we have to go there with a positive attitude and try and get an away goal and then bring them back here, which will be different to the last two times we have played them.

'To lose a semi-final is very disappointing but the more experience you get in football, you realise that there will be bad nights and you can't win everything.

'The most important thing is to learn from them and correct it in the future and hopefully we will get a chance to do that.

'Losing is the worst thing you can do but you know how Liverpool are going to play. They have a very good recipe in Champions League football.

'They are very organised and are a big threat going forward. It hasn't worked well for them in the league but in the Champions League it has been very impressive. We have to make sure we concentrate and don't switch off for any minute.'

Chelsea are still in the hunt for a remarkable double, with the Barclays Premier League crown still within their grasp and the Champions League final now a real possibility.

It is a tremendous achievement for a squad which has been subject to managerial upheaval and injuries to key players during the campaign and Lampard is quick to credit the team spirit inside the camp.

'I think it says a lot because it has been difficult,' he said. 'We have had to concentrate on ourselves on the pitch because so many things have been happening off the pitch - injuries and things out of our hands and so credit to the squad as a whole for coming through a difficult period and at times unnoticed in the league race.

'We have kept on going in the Champions League and that is very much down to the spirit and togetherness of the club. We just need to carry that on for another month.'

Chelsea's hopes a sensational double have been threatened by a goalkeeping crisis which worsened during their 2-0 win over the Turks when Carlo Cudicini was forced off in the first half with a hamstring problem.

He is likely to be out of action for up to a month and with first-choice Petr Cech already out following surgery on a training ground facial injury, it leaves Hilario as Chelsea's only experienced keeper.

Cech, who required 50 stitches in his wound, was at Stamford Bridge to watch last night's victory and insists he will be back as soon as possible.

Hilario kept Chelsea in the game against Fenerbahce with two fabulous saves inside a minute to keep the score at 1-0 and he won full praise from Lampard.

'The goalkeeping situation hasn't helped but credit to Hilario,' said Lampard. 'He came in and made two saves in a minute. All credit to him because it is not easy being third choice keeper, not playing regularly and then having to come in and play big games.

'But it was good to see big Petr at the club because the cut he had two days ago was horrendous and now it looks much better. I don't know how long he will be out but hopefully it won't be too long.'