Frank Lampard and his Chelsea team ended up on the wrong end of a 3-0 scoreline on Tuesday night, as Bayern Munich took control of the Champions League last 16 tie.
The Blues would have hoped to produce something to take back to the Allianz for the second leg, but a second-half onslaught from the Bundesliga side looks to have put matters out of reach.
Serge Gnabry scored twice and Robert Lewandowski netted another, before Marcos Alonso was sent-off to compound matters. Even worse, key midfielder Jorginho will also be suspended for the second leg after picking up a yellow card, making this an all-round nightmare evening for Lampard.
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Speaking after the game, the boss was honest in his assessment that Chelsea were “outclassed” by Bayern, who were largely dominant with over 60 per cent possession on the night and 16 shots to the home team’s nine.
“With the performance and result, they outclassed us in every department and it’s quite sobering,” Lampard told BT Sport.
“We could have done more, but they showed the level they are at. I’m disappointed we couldn’t do better but it’s a reality check for everyone in the dressing room.
“It’s one to take on the chin and look at the levels we want to attain; we have in the past and we want to get back there.
“They could have scored more but we could have too – our choice of pass in final third has to improve.”
Lampard urged his players not to be cowed by the gulf in quality between the sides on the night, but instead to use it as inspiration to improve, saying that members of his team should ignore tactics or other areas of the pitch but compare themselves against their direct opponents.
While the 3-0 scoreline obviously has Bayern well in the driving seat, there have been enough instances of big comebacks in Europe recently for Lampard – and goalscorer Gnabry, speaking just before him – to not rule anything out.
Lampard spoke of the Chelsea supporters who “wouldn’t accept” him admitting defeat at this stage and said he would “never say the door is closed” – but acknowledged suspensions would make the task more difficult.
“Jorgi [Jorginho being booked for dissent] was unnecessary when you’re on a yellow, I need to look at [Alonso’s red]. They are out so we’ll deal with it individually and it’ll open the door for some players to come in.
“It’ll be a test of character. I’m looking at the bigger picture: firstly how quickly can we recover for the weekend and let’s see how quickly we can get to this level.”
Chelsea face Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday, before facing Liverpool in the FA Cup next week.
Securing a top-four finish in the top flight will take on even more priority now, where Lampard’s team currently hold a four-point advantage over Manchester United.
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