Frank Lampard wants Chelsea to take an understanding of the levels required to play in the Champions League knockout stages from their humbling defeat to Bayern Munich.
Chelsea lost 3-0 in the first leg of their last-16 tie against the Bundesliga champions on Tuesday, with Serge Gnabry and Robert Lewandowski on target at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues had periods of pressure but overall rarely tested Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, with Chelsea’s misery compounded when Marcos Alonso saw red after a VAR check for violent conduct in the closing stages.
Chelsea head coach Lampard acknowledged he learned plenty about his team from the match and said there are vital lessons to be taken on board.
That’s football at this level,” Lampard told a news conference. “The levels of Bayern Munich were fantastic, they’re a really strong team, I was aware of that.
“Unless we were to get everything right and bang on, it was going to be tough. We didn’t get everything bang on. We weren’t confident on the ball, which was my biggest disappointment.
“A harsh lesson, a reality of the levels we want to get to – this is Champions League football. As a club haven’t been fighting in the knockouts for some years and this is the reality of what it takes.
“They need to use this positively. They won’t feel it this evening but what they need to do is understand the levels of the Champions League when you get to the knockout stage.
“A lot of players there today either haven’t played in it, played Europa League which is a big difference or played it a few years ago, certainly not at Chelsea when we got to successive semi-finals and finals and winning it. The only answer, young or old, is to not look at any part of the team other than yourself.
“Ask ‘who was I up against, who was my direct competitor, how did I do against them?’ We need to say tonight wasn’t a night where we showed that and we need to take responsibility.”
Though refusing to rule out his side’s chances of coming back into the tie in the second leg on March 18, Lampard conceded Chelsea’s priority must now be securing a top-four finish in the Premier League.
Chelsea are fourth but only three points clear of Manchester United and four ahead of Tottenham and Sheffield United after 27 matches.
“There’s nothing else other than the fact of being real of where we are,” he said. “We’re now fighting to finish in the top four, because we want to improve in the [off season].
“We also have to go to Munich and play with a lot of pride to see what we can do there and today was just a clear show that there’s a lot of work to be done. I felt that when I took the job, felt it all the way through and we’ll keep working, we all need to.”Copyright © 2020 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.