as he prepared to face manchester united fc in his 500th game for chelsea fc, frank lampard said "memories of bad luck spur you on" rather than thoughts of revenge.
frank lampard says winning the uefa champions league this season would erase all the memories of chelsea fc's past disappointments in the competition.
speaking ahead of the blues' all-english quarter-final against manchester united fc, the midfielder explained how triumphing at wembley next month would more than compensate for previous near misses. the most notable of those came in the 2008 showpiece against united, when lampard scored but ended up suffering penalty shoot-out heartbreak on a rainy night in moscow.
"winning the champions league would be big in any year, especially as we've been so close on so many occasions," he said. "you want to be known as the best team in europe by having that trophy. considering what we've done domestically, we've done everything at different times, it's definitely the one that stands out.
"every year it gets tougher, but we have a lot of belief in the squad that we have here. having had difficult stages this season we're going into the game in good form. hopefully that can bode well because the champions league is very much about playing the big games at the right time when your squad is playing well and your players are fit. i think we're in that position."
he was also keen to point out that he and his team-mates try not to dwell on past campaigns, which include semi-final exits in 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2009. "every year we've got close people talk about it even more, and they talk about the burden, the fate and the destiny of the occasion, but we don't think about it like that because it can weigh you down."
the england player was also keen to downplay any talk about his side seeking to avenge the defeat by united in 2008. "we'll be playing against a similar team but, i promise you, revenge certainly isn't something in our minds. i know it makes a good headline, but when you play for a long time, you don't feel any thoughts of revenge.
"however, the memories of bad luck do spur you on. there's nothing worse than losing a semi-final or a final, in different circumstances. but there's no point being negative and crying about them − they're all experiences. we hope that one day we'll have one huge positive experience that will make all the other ones easily forgotten."
lampard will make his 500th appearance for chelsea when united visit stamford bridge. "i never expected to play 500 games when i came here so it gives me a lot of pride," he said, "but it's not the main importance for me tomorrow. it will give me an extra boost going out with the confidence of the milestone, but it's too big a match to worry about it being the 500th game."
wayne rooney's first-half goal and two splendid edwin van der sar saves make united favourites to win the all-english quarter-final.
manchester united fc will have one eye on the uefa champions league semi-finals after wayne rooney's first-half strike gave them a priceless away goal against chelsea fc.
billed as the blues' chance to draw a line under their defeat by united in the 2008 final in moscow, a cagey first leg was decided by rooney's well-taken strike in the 24th minute after great work by the evergreen ryan giggs. though the odds have swung in united's favour before next tuesday's second leg at old trafford, chelsea had their chances and were only the width of the post away from equalising.
neither side were able to hit their usual stride in the early stages, with time and space on the ball coming at an exorbitant premium and big-match nerves evident in the number of stray passes. it was nearly 20 minutes before the first chance fell to didier drogba, the ivorian international's rasping shot from inside the area turned over the top by edwin van der sar.
the match clearly needed a goal to spark into life and rooney duly provided it. michael carrick's superb crossfield ball found giggs and the 37-year-old welshman's first touch took him straight past josé bosingwa before his cut-back picked out rooney for a first-time finish that flew in off the post.
a goal down, chelsea showed more urgency going forward but the task of finding a way through united's well-organised defence proved no easier. bosingwa managed to slide a venomous ball across the face of the united goal, but drogba was unable to make contact and the visitors' threat on the break remained real.
a curling ball from rooney only just eluded javier hernández as united came close to a second – before riding their luck at the other end just before the break. a cross from drogba towards torres ended up hitting the far post and lampard's scuffed flick at the rebound was cleared off the line by patrice evra.
chelsea's luck failed to improve after the restart, with drogba sending a bicycle kick wide of the mark and his team-mates toiling to create clear-cut chances. michael essien met nemanja vidić's headed clearance with a volley from the edge of the area that fizzed just wide but, after 70 minutes, carlo ancelotti had seen enough.
drogba and yuri zhirkov were replaced by nicolas anelka and florent malouda, while the decision to leave torres on nearly paid quick dividends when the spain striker's goal-bound header drew a brilliant, fingertip save from van der sar.
lampard later drilled a low free-kick at united's dutch keeper, who was faultless as the blues peppered his goal with shots in the closing stages, doing just what was needed to keep the premier league rivals in the driving seat before they meet again in six days' time.
yardımcı hakemler: fermin martinez ibanez (esp), juan carlos yuste jiménez (esp)
4. hakem: david fernández borbalán (esp)
çizgi hakemleri: fernando teixeira vitienes (esp), carlos clos gómez (esp)
chelsea: petr Čech (gk), branislav ivanović, ashley cole, ashley cole, ramires, frank lampard, fernando torres, didier drogba (dk. 70 florent malouda), josé bosingwa (dk. 79 john obi mikel), yuri zhirkov (dk. 70 nicolas anelka), john terry (c)
yedekler: ross turnbull (gk), yossi benayoun, paulo ferreira, salomon kalou
teknik direktör: carlo ancelotti (ita)
man. united: edwin van der sar (gk), patrice evra, rio ferdinand, wayne rooney, ryan giggs, park ji-sung (dk. 90+4 chris smalling), javier hernández (dk. 78 dimitar berbatov), nemanja vidić (c), michael carrick, rafael (dk. 51 nani), antonio valencia
yedekler: tomasz kuszczak (gk), paul scholes, jonny evans, darron gibson
teknik direktör: sir alex ferguson (sco)
gol: dk. 24 wayne rooney (0-1)
sarı kartlar: dk. 36 yuri zhirkov, dk. 60 ramires, dk. 66 michael essien, dk. 90+3 fernando torres (chelsea) dk. 74 nemanja vidić (c), dk. 80 edwin van der sar (gk) (man. united)