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May 3, 2010

Lampard eyes Premier League party at the Bridge

Frank Lampard said he wants to kick off a title party at Stamford Bridge next week as Manchester United's win ensured Chelsea would have to play for the Premier League crown in front of their own fans.

• Liverpool 0-2 Chelsea
• Richard Jolly at Anfield

Heading into the penultimate round of matches on Sunday, Manchester United knew Chelsea had to stumble at least once to give the reigning champions a chance to overturn their one-point Premier League deficit.

The challenge of Liverpool at Anfield, despite their troubles this season, looked a tougher one than that of Wigan at Stamford Bridge next week but Chelsea's 2-0 victory over the Reds means they just need to overcome the Latics on home turf to secure the first half of a potential domestic double.

While United's 1-0 win at Sunderland extended the title race for another week, it meant that if Chelsea do triumph this season it will be confirmed on the pitch in front of their supporters and not in the anticlimactic setting of the team bus after the Liverpool match. Carlo Ancelotti may well have preferred to have the title wrapped up with a match to spare, but football romantics would prefer to witness the moment in the flesh and Lampard agreed that would be a fitting way to finish.

"It would be nice to do it in front of our own fans,'' said Lampard, who scored the second goal to end Liverpool's hopes of securing Champions League football next season.

By no means are the experienced Chelsea players about to assume they just need to turn up to have the trophy handed to them, but Lampard admitted the Liverpool match had been sticking out like a sore thumb on the fixture list.

"Obviously Manchester United have a tough game but we'll never go that far (thinking we have already won). We have a big game next week. But we knew the Liverpool game was huge for us. We knew if we had dropped points we would have given the momentum to United.''

Chelsea also have an FA Cup final against Portsmouth to look forward to and Lampard said the side is focused on a double success after rebounding from an alarming slump earlier this year.

"We've got an FA Cup final after next week so we're very determined. We were at a bit of a low point a couple of months ago so credit goes to the players, management and staff. We dug ourselves out of that and have pushed on to the brink of doing the double.''

"We have had a couple of moments in the season when we have not been at our best and the momentum went back to United. But in the last 10 games or so our performances have been fantastic, so has the attitude of the lads.

"We have got a head of steam up. There is still another game to go but we are in a good position. If you are going to win titles you are going to have these moments.

"Whether it is a crunch moment like yesterday, when we played Liverpool with United playing Sunderland after us, or whether it be a game at home which you should win comfortably. You have to do the job right.''

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