Frank Lampard, the beloved all-time Chelsea leading scorer with 211 goals in 648 appearances over 13 seasons, left the club this summer, out of contract and at 36 no longer a part of coach Jose Mourinho’s plans. Lampard traveled the path of many aging stars–West across the Atlantic to play out the twilight of his career in the MLS. However, since he was signed by New York City FC, a team with the same owners as Manchester City a strange thing happened. Since NYC FC won’t join the MLS until 2015, Frank was loaned to Manchester City, Chelsea’s chief rival for the Premier League title this season. Who writes this stuff?
Well the writers were just getting started. On Sunday Chelsea visited Manchester City for the first clash this season between the Premier League’s heavyweights. Most of the match played out as entertaining, though with few clear cut scoring chances. The name mentioned most, unfortunately, was that of Mike Dean, the referee, who chose a low bar for issuing yellow cards early in the match leaving all to wonder who would pick up a second? Sure enough, Pablo Zabaleta earned his second yellow at 66 minutes to reduce Manchester City to ten men. Chelsea took advantage with a clinical counter attack and looked certain to secure 3 points and state their championship intent in their closest rival’s park. The real drama would come late though. In the 78th minute Manuel Pellegrini sent Frank Lampard on as sub and few but the real Disney fans thought anything could come of it with Chelsea up a man and goal. Well don’t root against Disney endings! Seven minutes later Lampard scored a typical Lampard goal to earn “the team” he plays for now a point. A story book ending? Not to Frank, who said, “It’s a tough one for me. I had 13 amazing years with the Chelsea fans, so I’m mixed with it. But the team I play for got a draw.”