NO. FRANK LAMPARD DOESN'T usually score header goals from corners. Not because he's a poor header of the ball, mind; he's decent. But the midfielder has spent the majority of his Chelsea career delivering crosses into the box from attacking corner, and even a capable man like Lampard, with the word "Super" in front of his name, can't bend the space-time continuum to be at two places at once. Yet this was a very typical Frank Lampard goal.
We will do this analysis in reverse. Let's start with the goal. Mata's corner was perfect, dipping, with speed, into the danger zone. Lampard, marked tightly at the start, was able to create a bit of space by checking his run quickly as the cross came in. He rose; he hung; he headed the ball with power. Pogrebnyak, the last man on the line, couldn't do much except deflected it into his own net. One. Nine. Six.
But how did Chelsea win this corner in the first place?
Ah, here you see Lampard bringing the ball forward, moving out from his deeper midfield role, with Torres and Oscar ahead of him, making the identical diagonal run to the left. In a 4-2-3-1 shape, you would expect Mata, the central attacking midfielder, to be in Lampard's position at this particular point of the attack, but Lampard is Lampard; he makes driving runs forward from midfield, that's what he does.
The midfielder would then slip a perfectly weighted pass into the feet of Oscar. The Brazilian, having failed to hit the target with an acrobatic strike just earlier, decided to square it to Torres instead of taking the shot himself (which he probably should have done).
Still, how did Lampard get to that position to deliver what should have ended up as an assist?
Turns out Lampard was heavily involved from the start with a well-timed tackle at the halfway line, breaking up a Reading attack and starting a Chelsea counter--just as he did against the best player, against one of the best teams, on one of football's biggest stages. After a quick exchange with Mata, Frank Lampard was through, dribbling forward and taking on the Royals defense head on.
THE BALL MIGHT HAVE been put into the net in an atypical fashion from Lampard, but the buildup is all too familiar for Chelsea supporters.
We know what we are...