Frank Lampard admits Chelsea were given a brutal Champions League lesson by Bayern Munich – but has challenged his players to restore some European pride in the second leg as they stand on the brink of Champions League elimination.
Bundesliga champions Bayern took a giant step towards the quarter-finals of the competition with Tuesday’s resounding 3-0 success at Stamford Bridge.
A second-half brace from Serge Gnabry, followed by Robert Lewandowski’s 39th goal of the season, did the damage as the Blues were comprehensively outclassed in the first leg of the last-16 tie.
Head coach Lampard admits his players face a huge task to mount a comeback but has urged them to leave the Allianz Arena on March 10 with their heads held high.
“We have to go to Munich and play with a lot of pride to see what we can do there,” he said.
“(Tuesday) was just a clear show that there’s a lot of work to be done, and I felt that when I took the job, I feel that today. I will keep working.
“It’s pretty clear that we are in a very bad position going into the second leg, so it’s a show of character to see what we can do.”
After failing to turn their first-half superiority into goals, Bayern deservedly raced ahead early in the second period when former Arsenal winger Gnabry produced two quick-fire clinical finishes.
In-form striker Lewandowski, who assisted each of the opening goals, then prodded home a third to give the German visitors complete control.
The Poland international was later caught in the face by the hand of Chelsea defender Marcos Alonso, who was sent off following a VAR review to cap a miserable evening for the hosts.
Lampard, who admitted after the defeat that he had a more immediate concern ahead of the second leg, feels his squad were ruthlessly taught about the standards required at the top end of European club football.
“That’s football at this level. The levels of Bayern Munich were fantastic, they’re a really strong team, I was aware of that,” he said.
“It was a harsh lesson, a reality for the players of the levels we want to get. This is Champions League football.
“In the bigger picture, we just saw there was a lot of quality in their team. There’s a build to that.
“Players like Lewandowski, who has been there for a long time, (Thomas) Muller I played against in 2012 in the Champions League, and (Jerome) Boateng, and (Manuel) Neuer, (David) Alaba has been there a long time, so there’s a lot to their team which we have to respect.”