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Lampard relieved as Chelsea hobble on

Frank Lampard joked that he felt "as safe as everyone else in the stadium" as Chelsea FC endured a nervy finale to forge onward at Fenerbahçe SK's expense.

Frank Lampard celebrates his goal with team-mate Didier Drogba
Frank Lampard celebrates his goal with team-mate Didier Drogba ©Getty Images

Frank Lampard admitted Chelsea FC had endured a nervy night against Fenerbahçe SK before clinching a fourth UEFA Champions League semi-final place in five years.

Nervy finish
Lampard said the London team had not played well in a 2-0 victory which gave them a 3-2 aggregate success but the all-important thing was to get through. "I think I felt as safe as everyone else in the stadium," joked the 29-year-old of the game's last quarter when there was apprehension on the pitch as well as in the stands as the Turkish champions sought the away goal that would have put them in front.

Early goal
They came close on two occasions before Lampard went up the other end and scored Chelsea's second of the night. The England international had also laid on the opening goal for Michael Ballack with a carefully flighted free-kick but Chelsea failed to build on the German's fourth-minute header and that allowed Zico's team to believe in their chances of creating history.

'Noses in front'
"We did not play particularly well, not as well as in the first leg, but we hung in there and in the end we were able to kill the game off," Lampard said. "It's not always easy in these games because you're talking about top-quality opposition. What's important is to get your noses in front, play well for a period of time, and stay concentrated when things are not going so well."

Hilário to the rescue
With Petr Čech having been ruled out after undergoing surgery to his lip and chin after a training-ground injury Lampard described as "terrible, one of the worst I've ever seen", Chelsea were hit with another goalkeeping blow after 25 minutes when Carlo Cudicini hobbled off with a pulled hamstring. Hilário deputised ably, pulling off two vital saves in the last ten minutes, with Lampard saying: "You have to give a massive shout to Hilário, because every time he comes in he bales us out with saves like that. It proves we have three top-class keepers at the club."

Different circumstances
Now attention turns to a renewal of their last-four rivalry with Liverpool FC, who have crushed Chelsea's dreams in two of their last three semi-final appearances, in 2005 and again last year. The fact that this time the first game will be staged at Anfield gives Chelsea hope they can make amends. "We're playing in front of our own fans in the second leg and that could help us," said left-back Ashley Cole. "It's vital we try and get the away goal and then keep a clean sheet here like we did tonight." Ballack added: "The games with Liverpool are always very close but unlike last year we are at home in the second leg and little changes like that can mean a lot."