Right until the end, Frank Lampard paced up and down his technical area at the Allianz Arena.
During this slow death of Chelsea’s Champions League campaign, their manager still demanded more pressing, more movement.
But energy and effort were not the problem. Against Bayern Munich, Chelsea were outgunned and outclassed to the point where a six-goal margin flattered them.
Frank Lampard has a lot of pondering during Chelsea’s well-earned break this summer
Chelsea were comfortably beaten by a far superior Bayern Munich side over two legs
That is the hard truth Lampard and his players must ponder during a well-earned break.
‘We’re a new, young side, with a new manager. That’s the first season, so we have to be pleased with ourselves,’ said Tammy Abraham afterwards. ‘But that’s the level and that’s the difference and that’s where we have to get to.’
Lampard has no reason to panic. Without new signings, he has steered Chelsea into the top four and built a side full of promise.
It’s just a shame this exhausting, encouraging campaign ended so limply. At least losing to Bayern, and to Arsenal in the FA Cup final, have been instructive.
Those defeats highlighted the frailties dogging Chelsea’s progress. Bayern, in particular, cut them to shreds — the gulf in quality was remarkable and illustrated the size of the task.
Should Kai Havertz join new boys Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner, Lampard will have an instant injection of class and attacking options.
Alongside Mason Mount, Abraham has rewarded Lampard’s trust in youth. In Munich, he made it 18 goals for his first full season at the top table. Not a bad return but not a patch on his opposite number. To illustrate the gap between the teams, Robert Lewandowski’s brace took him to 53.
Chelsea are reportedly interested in signing highly-rated Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz
‘Lewandowski is the best striker in the world right now and that’s the level I have to get to,’ added Abraham.
Already 3-0 up from the first leg, Bayern piled on the misery through Lewandowski’s early penalty and Ivan Perisic’s simple finish. Abraham halved the deficit shortly before half-time, but Bayern re-affirmed their dominance with late goals through Corentin Tolisso and Lewandowski.
No wonder Lampard is eyeing a new left back and centre back. That is where Chelsea’s real problems lie.
Building more solid foundations must be Lampard’s focus in the coming weeks. There is little time to waste.
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