MADRID - Chelsea's performance in
Wednesday's 1-1 Champions League draw at Valencia was superior
to that of Barcelona at the Mestalla last week, according to
goal scorer Frank Lampard.
Spanish and European champions Barca had to fight hard to
secure a 2-2 draw against Valencia in La Liga, but the Spaniards
looked nervous against the London club, who squandered a slew of
chances and gifted their opponents a late penalty through
Salomon Kalou's handball.
Lampard, who was left on the bench against Swansea City at
the weekend, had earlier provided the perfect response to
speculation about his future with a fine strike shortly after
"They [Valencia] are a fantastic team," the 33-year-old
England midfielder was quoted as saying on Chelsea's website.
"We watched the video from when they played Barcelona and we
out-Barcelona'd Barcelona in a way, played great football and we
were very aware of what they could do tonight," he added.
"We sat back a bit after the goal, you know against a team
of quality you're going to suffer at some points, and probably a
draw was a fair result."
The stalemate leaves Chelsea at the top of Group E with four
points from two matches. German side Bayer Leverkusen are second
on three points thanks to their 2-0 win at home to Genk,
Valencia have two points in third and Genk one point in fourth.
Lampard said he hoped his goal, his 20th in Europe's elite
club competition, would signal a turnaround in his fortunes.
"I always want to play, that's a given. I've been like that
throughout my career," he said.
"I love playing for this club. I am very proud of playing
here. I've had knocks before in my career [and] it makes me work
harder to come back.
"I like to play games and get momentum, I don't always start
the season out of the blocks and hopefully now I can get a run
"It was a sweet moment, the season hasn't quite got going
for me yet for a few reasons, so to come here in a game like
this and score a goal is the start of a big season for me.
"I tried to keep it down and it was a nice feeling to see
that one hit the net."
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