Chelsea could probably have done without Sunday’s FA Cup contest, another match to clutter up the West London side’s ongoing ambition in league and tournament play.
But it did, at least, provide the stage for Frank Lampard’s latest bit of history building around Stamford Bridge.
The longtime England international and virtual institution around Chelsea recorded goal No. 199 during his team’s FA Cup romp Sunday over tiny Brentford, a West London neighbor of the far more decorated Premier League outfit.
Juan Mata ran the show for Chelsea, but much of the talk will be about Lampard, who is about to become the second player in club history to round the 200-goal milepost.
Only Bobby Tambling has more with the club, striking 202 times in his days with the Blues from 1959-70. Obviously, that leaves Lampard will within striking distance of ensconcing himself as the club’s all-time scoring leader, something particularly impressive for a midfielder.
In fact, only four other Chelsea man scored as many as 150 with the club. The list of Chelsea all-time leading goal scorers:
- Bobby Tambling, 202
- Frank Lampard, 199
- Kerry Dixon, 193
- Didier Drogba, 157
- Roy Bentley, 150
- Peter Osgood, 150
What are Lampard’s chances of gaining the club’s all-time scoring leadership? Quite good, you’d have to say. First, he still takes penalty kicks for the club. Plus Lampard finds himself in absolutely wonderful form, hitting five goals in the Blues’ last six matches.
He has at least one more FA Cup contest plus 12 league matches. Rafa Benitez’s club looks good to go through in Europa League action, which means three more contests there.
His future with the club remains highly in doubt – but Lampard’s place in history around Stamford Bridge is clearly secure.
Arsenal lead Chelsea 1-0 at half time of the 2016-17 FA Cup final, but they should be so much further ahead.
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Alexis Sanchez put Arsenal ahead in controversial fashion as Aaron Ramsey was clearly in an offside position and flagged for offside, but referee Anthony Taylor overruled his linesman to allow the goal to stand.
Ramsey didn’t touch the ball but was remarkably close to it when Sanchez raced through to score.
Mesut Ozil, Danny Welbeck and Ramsey had further chances to score with Gary Cahill twice clearing off the line, while Chelsea had two chances through Diego Costa but he couldn’t convert.
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What a first 45 minutes!
At the FA Cup final on Saturday at Wembley there was a moving tribute to the people killed in the Manchester bombing attack earlier this week.
On Monday a suicide bomber killed 22 people and injured a further 67 after detonating a bomb outside Manchester Arena following an Ariana Grande concert.
Ahead of the FA Cup final, Arsenal and Chelsea came together to salute everyone impacted by the atrocity.
Watch the moving video below as 90,000 stood in silence to show their solidarity.
Alexis Sanchez’s goal put Arsenal 1-0 up early on in the FA Cup final against Chelsea in hugely controversial fashion.
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Initially the goal was called out for offside on Aaron Ramsey who didn’t touch the ball but was mightily close to the action, but referee Anthony Taylor overruled his linesman and gave the goal.
There was also a hint of a handball on Sanchez’s part as the ball ricocheted off him in a tackle.
Watch the video below as Chelsea were left fuming but Arsenal didn’t care…
The U-20 World Cup in South Korea continues to provide plenty of drama.
[ MORE: U-20 World Cup latest ]
In Group C already-qualified Portugal fought back from 1-0 down against Iran to win 2-1 and sealed their spot in the last 16, while Costa Rica join both Portugal and Zambia in the knockout rounds after they beat Zambia 1-0.
Italy led Japan 2-0 in Group D but Japan fought back to make it 2-2 as they made it through to the last 16 alongside Italy and Uruguay. Elsewhere in Group D Uruguay and South Africa played out a 0-0 draw with Uruguay already through to the knockout rounds (they have yet to concede a goal) and South Africa heading home.
The final set of group games take place on Sunday with Groups E and F coming to a close, including the U.S. facing Saudi Arabia as Tab Ramos’ men aim to seal a spot in the last 16.
Three of the eight last 16 matches have now been confirmed with England facing Costa Rica, Venezuela taking on Japan and hosts South Korea will play Portugal.
Click on the link above for all the latest news from the U-20 World Cup, while below are video highlights from Saturday’s four games in Groups C and D.
Group C – Portugal 2-1 Iran
Group C – Costa Rica 1-0 Zambia
Group D – Japan 2-2 Italy
Group D – Uruguay 0-0 South Africa