Chelsea boss Frank Lampard admits his young team were ‘put in their place’ by Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
The west London side lost 3-0 against the German team at Stamford Bridge in the first leg of their round of 16 clash in February, with former Arsenal player Serge Gnabry scoring a brace and Lewandowski also getting a goal.
Chelsea’s trip to Bavaria for the return leg was postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic and Lampard admits his side were given a lesson in what is needed to compete at the top level.
Asked if the Champions League has been a good school for his young team in a video call with an NHS doctor and lifelong Chelsea supporter, Lampard said: ‘Yeah definitely. I’d like to think that Bayern Munich game we’ll look back on in a year or two years’ time and it will be a defining moment for this group.
‘Because it was a game that kind of put us in our place. It was like, “Wow, this is a real strong Champions League team”.
‘I actually didn’t feel that bad after. I was disappointed, of course, because you go, “Oh 3-0, the game’s probably gone even with the away leg”.
‘But it was like, yeah, that’s the level for the young boys – and a few of them were playing that night – and us as a team, of level of quality, of player, and a team that are clinical with Lewandowski and all that, then we need to know that.
‘I think they played some really good games, Ajax in the rounds before that, going away to Lille, really good performances under pressure.
‘And when you look back at the season, our performances against like City, when we went there and lost 2-1, we played really well for big parts of the game. Liverpool, every game we played against them we competed against them, and they’re clearly the best team.’
On results not always matching good performances, Lampard continued: ‘Sometimes you don’t get that from the outside. That’s why I think Chelsea fans have been like that this year. Because sometimes, this is a lot in the media, the result completely defines what the fallout is.
‘So if you lose 1-0 at home, everyone will lose sight of the fact you have 25 shots and this and that and didn’t stop running in a certain game. My whole mantra with the players – and I tried to be like this as a player myself – you have to work as you wanna play on the weekend.
‘It sounds really simple, and everyone kind of feels the same, but in practice that has to be the case. We have to make sure we train at that level every day, that has to be the culture of it and then hopefully you see the uplift.
‘Because these teams now, City and Liverpool, it’s no surprise, they run further than everybody else, they run at a higher intensity than everybody else.’