Bayern defeat was a ‘harsh lesson’, admits Chelsea’s Frank Lampard

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Frank Lampard says his Chelsea players ‘need to understand the levels of the Champions League’.

Frank Lampard admitted that Chelsea are a long way from challenging the elite after Bayern Munich all but secured a place in the last eight of the Champions League with a brutal 3-0 victory at Stamford Bridge.

Bayern destroyed Chelsea in the first leg of their last-16 tie, two goals from Serge Gnabry and one from Robert Lewandowski sealing an emphatic win for the German champions, and Lampard accepted that his inexperienced side are unlikely to be playing for anything but pride when they travel to the Allianz Arena for the second leg on 18 March.

“It was a harsh lesson, a reality for the players of the levels we want to get to,” Chelsea’s manager said. “This is Champions League football and we haven’t been fighting in the knockout stages, getting through to the back-end of it, for some years and this is the reality of what it takes.

“They need to use this as a positive effect and it might not feel like that this evening, but what they need to do is understand the levels of the Champions League at this stage. A lot of the players there today either haven’t played it – maybe Europa League, which is a big difference – or played in it a few years ago, and certainly not at Chelsea where we got to the point of the semi-finals, the final and winning it.”

However Lampard refused to blame Chelsea’s humiliation on their failure to sign players last month. “There’s no point in looking back on anything other than the fact of being real about where we are,” he said.

“We’re now fighting to come in the top four this year because we want to then improve in the summer. We also have to go to Munich and play with a lot of pride in a few weeks. Today was just a clear show that there’s a lot of work to be done and I felt that when I took the job.”

Marcos Alonso received a late red card after VAR detected an elbow on Lewandowski and Jorginho will also be suspended for the second leg after picking up a booking for dissent, while Tammy Abraham seemed to have tweaked a hamstring after the final whistle.

“The Jorginho yellow card, we shouldn’t get for speaking with the referee when [he’s] on the tipping edge of another yellow,” Lampard said. “I didn’t see the Alonso incident the second time so I don’t want to comment too much on that. Maybe it’s human nature when you are 3-0 down in a match.”