Chelsea youngsters will be better for Bayern experience - Lampard

By Sports Desk October 18, 2020

Frank Lampard is confident Chelsea will be better off heading into a new Champions League campaign following their heavy defeat to Bayern Munich last season. 

Chelsea made it through to the knockout stages but were hammered 3-0 by eventual champions Bayern at Stamford Bridge in the first leg of their last-16 tie in March, then went down 4-1 in the second leg upon the tournament's resumption in August. 

The 7-1 aggregate defeat was the second heaviest suffered by an English side in the history of the Champions League. 

Europa League winners Sevilla are first up for Chelsea on Tuesday in this season's edition, with Krasnodar and Rennes also in the group. 

Though the Blues were cast aside easily by Bayern, Lampard believes they will be stronger having faced such a high level of opposition, while also boosted by adding players with Champions League experience, such as Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech and Thiago Silva, who was a beaten finalist with Paris Saint-Germain. 

"The players that were here last year, the young players, certainly the Bayern Munich game because it's a high level of opposition, it would have been a learning curve for them," Lampard told the media. 

"It's the Champions League, the top club competition in world football. They'll be better for it; they'll want to improve. 

"The players that we've brought in, some have more Champions League experience. We've generally brought in younger players, so it's important we learn lessons as we go because the Champions League is so cut-throat. 

"You have to absolutely focus against the level of opposition we'll face, especially Sevilla."

Werner and Havertz registered their first league goals for Chelsea against Southampton on Saturday, becoming the fifth and sixth German players to score in the Premier League for the Blues, though they were held to a 3-3 draw at Stamford Bridge. 

Lampard acknowledged he wanted his team to be more pragmatic as they aimed to close out the match, though insisted there are no communication issues. 

"I'm certainly not looking to play brave football in the last moments of a game and that was my message to the side," he added. 

"We need to go longer, miss out their press. I don't think the players did that enough. I think that's something that’s ingrained in our players, they want to play football. 

"I'm not concerned about communication. I'm talking about game management. When things turn on you in the game, the players have to gauge that on the pitch. 

"That's part of being a top player and where Chelsea want to go. So it's absolutely the players' choice. If there's moments we have to see out in games, then the players have to do that on the pitch."

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