Today's heavyweight clash saw Manchester City host Chelsea as the two favourites for the Premier League title locked horns at the Etihad Stadium. In a cagey affair, the red card of Pablo Zabaleta for kicking out at Diego Costa swung the game in Chelsea's favour as Andre Schurrle gave them the lead shortly after, but they were left heartbroken when former Blues legend Frank Lampard came off the bench to score his first City goal and rescue a point for Manuel Pellegrini's side.
Emotions ran high as Lampard, who is Chelsea's all time top goalscorer after a 13-year association with the West London club, refused to celebrate scoring against his former club out of respect for them - and the former England international said he had mixed feelings after hitting the back of the net.
"It’s a really difficult one. I’d be unprofessional if I came on and didn’t do my job so I’m mixed with it," Lampard told Sky Sports. "I’m obviously pleased that the side I came on for got a draw. It’s come up, I’m a professional and I didn’t expect to come on and score. I’m stuck in the middle."
"The Chelsea fans were singing my name and it was an emotional day. It’s not how I expected to say goodbye to the Chelsea fans. I woke up this morning and didn’t know what I wanted from today so I’m glad it’s out of the way. I guess this a happy medium."
Lampard is on loan at City until January, when he will return to playing for New York City - who are owned by Manchester City. He may not have planned to score against his former employers, but his goal was invaluable to City, as earning a point with ten men against their title rivals is a huge psychological boost for Pellegrini and co.
It's unlikely that today's goal will tarnish Lampard's spectcular career at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea fans clapped the midfielder off the pitch, and all parties must simply be glad that it's over and there is no possibility of it happening again, with the club's next meeting at the end of January after Lampard's departure from City.