Premier League – Lampard scores four in Derby romp
Frank Lampard scored four as Chelsea bounced back from their embarassing FA Cup defeat at Barnsley by destroying bottom side Derby County 6-1 at Stamford Bridge.
Salomon Kalou and the superb Joe Cole also got on the scoresheet for Chelsea before David Jones got a late consolation for Paul Jewell’s hopelessly outclassed strugglers.
The victory moves Chelsea to within five points of league leaders Arsenal and the Blues also have a game in hand over their London neighbours.
Chelsea dominated possession throughout and nearly went in front as early as the third minute when Lampard swept a shot off the post when he should have scored.
Michael Ballack also blasted the ball into the net from the edge of the area in the 18th minute but he was just offside.
However, Chelsea finally took the lead from the spot in the 28th, when Dean Leacock, who came on for the injured Alan Stubbs early on, needlessly tripped Lampard in the box when the midfielder was moving away from the goal.
The England midfielder dusted himself off and calmly sent Roy Carroll the wrong way to give the Blues that crucial opening goal.
The one-way traffic continued and it was no surprise when Chelsea got a second just before half-time with Kalou placing the ball into an empty net first time from 40 yards out after Carroll had made a mess of trying to clear a through ball from Lampard.
Derby looked reasonably secure for a spell after the break but then Lampard opened the floodgates with the first of four Chelsea goals in the pace of 15 minutes in the 57th minute.
Cole then helped himself to a deserved goal five minutes later as he was on hand to roll home into an empty net after Carroll had come out to save an initial effort from Anelka.
Lampard then completed his hat-trick in the 66th minute as he swept home a trademark low strike from outside the box after Derby inexplicably backed off him.
Woefully lethargic defending then allowed him to get his fourth as he spun into the box with a nice turn before placing home after again being set up by Cole.
Moments after going 6-0 down David Jones got one back for Derby but they must have feared that the scoreline would get more painful as there was still over 15th minutes to go at that stage.
However, despite bringing on Drogba and Andriy Shevchenko, Chelsea put the foot off the gas before the end, and just played out the remaining minutes.
The win puts them back into the title race, but serious question marks have to be asked about Derby who looked ill-equipped at the moment for not just the Premier League but for life in the Championship too.
Certainly Chelsea must have wished they could have played the Rams and not Barnsley in the FA Cup quarter-final, for on this evidence, the Tykes look a far classier outfit than Paul Jewell’s whipping boys.