Frank Lampard and Cesc Fabregas certainly have previous. The Chelsea midfielder’s scything scissor tackle on the Spaniard in the Nou Camp on Tuesday night was testament to that.
If it looked like there was five years’ worth of pent-up aggression in Lampard’s hefty challenge that is because there probably was.
Cast your minds back to the 93rd minute of the 2007 Carling Cup final between Chelsea and Fabregas’s former club Arsenal.
Jose Mourinho’s side were winning 2-1, then Arsenal defender Kolo Toure collided with Jon Mikel Obi. The African duo clashed, but Lampard and Fabregas were first on the scene.
Lampard confronted Toure, Fabregas dragged the England midfielder away by his neck and a brawl ensued. Howard Webb sent off Toure, Mikel and Emmanuel Adebayor before Chelsea lifted the trophy.
That was the start of the long-running feud. The pair have since gone face to face 18 times on the field.
Fabregas’s former Arsenal team-mate Jack Wilshere tweeted ahead of the first leg: ‘I think Cesc would love to score tonight… him and Lampard never liked each other on the pitch.’
The first sign of the duo’s disdain for one other on Tuesday came early in the second half when Fabregas aggressively grabbed Lampard’s leg as the Barcelona midfielder lay on the ground pleading for a free-kick.
That prompted Wilshere to tweet: ‘Told you Lamps and Cesc are not the best of friends.’
Moments later, Lampard picked up a yellow card for a challenge on Fabregas.
Lampard won his latest battle with Fabregas, particularly with the Spaniard being substituted in both legs. And Lampard and Chelsea certainly won the war.