Chelsea’s 3-0 loss to Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie was a reality check for the club, according to head coach Frank Lampard.
Eight years on from their Champions League final triumph over the same side at the Allianz Arena, Chelsea’s hopes of progression were all but ended as Serge Gnabry scored a quickfire double and Robert Lewandowski added a third in a ruthless Bayern performance at Stamford Bridge.
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“That’s football at this level,” Lampard said.
“The levels of Bayern Munich were fantastic. They are a really strong team and unless we were to get everything right and bang on, it was going to be a tough night potentially.
“We didn’t get everything bang on. We weren’t confident on the ball. That was my biggest disappointment from start to finish.
“We want to play here, we’ve shown that all season, but today we went away from that. That can happen sometimes in an intense atmosphere when all eyes are on you, so it was a harsh lesson for the players about the levels we want to get to.
“We as a club haven’t been fighting in the knockout stages and getting through to the back-end of it for some years and that’s the reality of what it takes.”
Lampard added: “Sometimes you have to be brutally honest about it and they outclassed us. It’s quite sobering.
“I’m disappointed we couldn’t have done better against them, but it’s a real reality check for everyone individually in the dressing room.
“We have to take it on the chin and look at yourself and no one else, and the levels we need to attain at this club, which this club has attained in the past and we have to work to get back there.”
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Chelsea had their moments in the first half, with Olivier Giroud almost turning home a Mason Mount cross and Marcos Alonso forcing a smart save from Manuel Neuer, but they never looked like getting back into the game after Gnabry’s opening goal six minutes after the break.
“In the first half we suffered in moments but we defended resiliently,” added Lampard. “Technically, some of the defending wasn’t great, but we stayed in the game and we also had a couple of chances.
“But for 90 minutes, you have to show more than we showed. The first goal had a bit of a slip [from Cesar Azpilicueta] in the [build-up], but the clinical nature with which they finished it shows that if you give teams of this quality chances too many times, they will score goals.
“We have to go to Munich and play with a lot of pride, to see what we can do there. But today was a clear show that there is a lot of work to be done. I felt that when I took the job, I have felt that all the way through, and I feel that today.”
Flick: I’m happy Gnabry is with us
Bayern Munich manager Hans-Dieter Flick was full of praise for former Arsenal man Gnabry, who he had followed when the winger played in London.
He said: “I’ve known Gnabry quite a long time. I saw how he played at Arsenal and I was very intensive in the way I followed his career and also when he played for the national team and you could just tell what he could do.
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