Chelsea's all-time record goalscorer was regularly under the thumb of the Brazilian's joypad PLUS John Terry and Eden Hazard are Europa doubts
David Luiz remembers the days when, as a teenager, he had Frank Lampard banging in goals for him on Playstation.
A decade later, Luiz has come to realise that Lampard doesn’t need a control pad to pull off his feats of goalscoring brilliance.
And the Brazilian is still pinching himself at having had the chance to play alongside the greatest goalscorer in Chelsea’s history.
After seeing Lampard’s brace break Bobby Tambling’s 202-goal record at Villa Park, Luiz said: “I have played with many, many fantastic players in my life. But he is the hero at Chelsea.
“It’s a fantastic story. He has scored the most for Chelsea. It is great for him. Football gives me an opportunity to play with these players. I played with them only on the Playstation when I was young.”
Of course, the irony of Luiz’s comments is that he was himself described two years ago as performing as though he was being “controlled by a 10-year-old on Playstation” by Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville.
Yet it was Luiz’s introduction at half time that helped Chelsea to come from a goal down to seal their place in next season’s Champions League.
Had Aston Villa not misfired after Christian Benteke netted 14 minutes in, Paul Lambert's team would have pulled off a stunning upset.
Brilliant Benteke terrified the Blues with his strength and pace. And when Ramires was sent off for two bookable offences in first-half injury time, Chelsea really were staring down the barrel.
But Benteke himself picked up a second yellow card on the hour. Without him, Villa were just not the same team.
Lampard’s first – just three minutes after Benteke went off – saw him cut in from the right and lash a left-foot drive past Villa keeper Brad Guzan.
His second, two minutes from time, saw him burst into the six-yard box to despatch Juan Mata’s low ball in from the left touchline.
Explaining the secret of his success, Lamps said: “I am very fortunate in that I have had great parents. My Dad, in a football sense, put that work ethic into me. I have continued to feel fit this year. And I’ve felt a real ability to get into the box. The second goal was an example of that.
“After that I try to work hard on my finishing in training and once I put those things together and go out and play I feel confident that these things can happen.”
Yet Lampard is being made to sweat over a new deal as the Blues’ younger talents take the club forward.
He added: “I think the club are making the right decisions and I hope to stay. Simple as that.
“We’ve got two big games coming up. Nothing will happen in that period of time, but at the end of those games I hope to sit down.”
At least Lampard is in with a shout of making Wednesday’s Europa League Final. Skipper John Terry looks set for a second final heartbreak in as many seasons after twisting his ankle late in this game.
Last May he was banned from the Champions League Final win over Bayern Munich. Lampard said: “Its a huge blow. I am gutted for him because I know how difficult that was for him, missing the game last year.
“But whatever we do as a club, John is part of it. We win things together.”
Hazard and Terry are Europa Final doubts
John Terry will find out today whether he will miss his second European final in 12 months when he receives the results of a scan.
Down and out? Chelsea captain John Terry has treatment after injuring his leg
The Chelsea captain is extremely doubtful for Wednesday’s Europa League Final after colliding with Aston Villa’s Nathan Baker in the 76th minute.
Terry left Villa Park on crutches and wearing a protective boot. He said: “It is my ankle. I’m going to get it scanned. I don’t know if I’ll be fit for Wednesday at the moment.”
If he is ruled out it will be the second successive year he has missed out on a major final after being suspended for their Champions League success last May.
Blues boss Rafa Benitez is also expected to lose Eden Hazard, who pulled a hamstring at Villa.
Benitez said: “A hamstring injury is very difficult to overcome in just two or three days. This is bad news. That makes Hazard very doubtful.”