Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Lampard's on the Road to Banishing Nightmare of the 'Goal' That Wasn't

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Lampard's on the Road to Banishing Nightmare of the 'Goal' That Wasn't

Article excerpt

Byline: Simon Johnson Football Correspondent

FRANK LAMPARD may have scored the goal that beat the world champions on Saturday but he is looking at Euro 2012 next summer to provide the cure for the darkest moment in his international career.

No one looked more proud to lead England to a surprise victory over Spain, even if there was little skill required to head the ball into an empty net from a yard out.

It was his 23rd goal for England, however Lampard is still haunted by the one that wasn't given in the team's 4-1 defeat by Germany at the World Cup last year.

Most people soon forgot it because of the vitriolic post-mortems that followed England's disappointing exit at the last-16 stage but it is still on the Chelsea midfielder's mind.

Things may have worked out differently if Uruguayan referee Jorge Larrionda or his assistant Mauricio Espinosa had spotted that his lob had clearly crossed the line in the first half for it would have brought the teams level at 2-2 and momentum would have been with England.

Lampard (below, celebrating his goal against Spain) will turn 34 halfway through Euro 2012 and is fully aware it may be his last chance to make amends at a major tournament.

He told Standard Sport: "What happened against Germany is something that will always be in the back of my mind. It was a very big disappointment for me personally and the way it affected the game.

"I am not saying it is keeping me awake at night but it is something in my memory and it would be good to clear it by having a good tournament.

"Am I thinking of Euro 2012 now? Of course. I'm trying to keep my game at a high level because the competition is getting fiercer all the time.

"The young players are coming into the squad and it is a great thing for us because they bring that youthful exuberance and us older players realise we have to keep on top of our game to keep them out.

"I am very pleased with the competition in the squad and the team. I want to be part of a successful team. I have been to a few major tournaments and not many times have we come home thinking we had done what we wanted to do. …

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