After a slow start, Chelsea pulled away from Swansea and earned a 2-0 victory on Sunday.
The biggest story of the match was the performance of veteran Frank Lampard. After Ramires was removed from the game due to an injury, the 34-year-old midfielder entered in the 25th minute.
This appearance was a milestone for the Chelsea player, according to the Premier League Twitter account:
Premier League @premierleague
SUB Frank Lampard replaces the injured Ramires to make his 400th #BPL appearance for Chelsea. Still 0-0. #CHESWA4/28/2013, 2:25:35 PM
Lampard then made a huge impact in the match just before halftime. With the score still tied at zero, he received a great pass from John Terry and touched it to Oscar on the right side of the box, who then finished it past the keeper to give his side the 1-0 lead in the 43rd minute.
The day did not end with just an assist, though. In stoppage time before intermission, Juan Mata earned a penalty shot after being fouled in the box by Leon Britton of Swansea. Lampard made the penalty shot to help the squad lead 2-0 after the first half.
Gigi Salmon of Chelsea TV pointed out the significance of this goal from a historical perspective:
Gigi Salmon @gigi_salmon
Frank Lampard with goal number 201 of his Chelsea career, amazing!!! 2-0 Just 1 to go now to equal the record!!!! #CFC4/28/2013, 2:48:39 PM
Lampard's production transformed this match from a back-and-forth battle to a strong showing for the home club.
In the second half, Swansea got a few opportunities to score, but those were quickly stuffed by Chelsea's impressive defense. The leading side was then able to control the pace and hold on for the 2-0 victory.
This was an important win for Chelsea to keep pace with Arsenal and Tottenham in the race for third and fourth place in the EPL. The three points put the club into third place with 65 points, although Arsenal can earn that right back with a match against Manchester United.
The Blues get their own matchup against the top team on May 5, but must first compete against FC Basel in the Europa League semifinals on Thursday.
Swansea remains in ninth place in the league with 42 points. If the club was to remain at this point, it would be a solid improvement from the 11th-place finish from a year ago. Unfortunately, it will not be easy with both Manchester United and Manchester City still on the schedule.
However, both Chelsea and Swansea will look to finish the season strong with only four matches remaining in the EPL season.
Frank Lampard, Chelsea: A+
What else can you say about one of the best players in club history?
Lampard has not played a lot recently and is often coming on as a sub late in matches. However, he is still leading Chelsea with 13 goals in league play and is always able to provide positive contributions to the squad.
In this match, he took advantage of his opportunities and made sure that the scoring chances turned into goals.
Eventually, the veteran will have to be replaced, but he is still getting it done for the moment.
Demba Ba, Chelsea: B
Since coming over to Chelsea from Newcastle United, Demba Ba has not had as much success in Premier League matches.
After scoring 13 goals in 20 appearances for his previous club, he only has two in 11 appearances with his new one.
While he was unable to score in this match, there were a lot of positives to take away from the performance. He was very active from beginning to end, getting decent shots on goal and drawing fouls from the opposition. He finished with eight shots, four of them on net.
The Senegal national has shown success at the FA Cup, and it is only a matter of time before he turns that into production in the EPL.
Michel Vorm, Swansea: B+
You never want to give up multiple goals in a match as a goaltender, but there was not a lot that Michel Vorm could have done better in this one.
The veteran withstood a barrage of shots from Chelsea for 90 minutes and beyond, many of them on open looks at the net.
Still, Vorm totaled six saves and was able to at least keep his club in the match. The two goals allowed would have been tough for anyone to defend.
Swansea is among the better teams in the EPL in goals allowed, and Vorm is a big reason for that after a strong year.
Michu, Swansea: C
As one of the best goalscorers in the league and easily the best on his squad, Michu has a lot of expectations going into every match.
He was unable to live up to this against Chelsea and never gave his club a chance to come back.
The forward entered Sunday fourth in the EPL with 17 goals, but he had very little impact in the match. His teammates struggled to get him the ball, and when he was in possession, he was unable to do anything productive with it.
Chelsea has a solid defense that prevents many top players from having good games, and Michu was unable to do any better.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!