Lampard – Blues must work hard and suffer against Bayern
Frank Lampard has warned his Chelsea side to be prepared to suffer tonight when they welcome Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich to Stamford Bridge for the first leg of their R16 fixture, just as he suffered a two-footed tackle from Cesar Azpilicuteta in training.
Despite beating Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend, Lampard is aware that the Blues will need to attain another level to get past Bayern. Just as Lampard suffered in training before tonight’s game, Chelsea should be prepared to suffer the same against Bayern.
“A big part of my job is to explain to the players that, over two legs, we need to be at our maximum,” Lampard said.
“So going into the game we must make sure every box is ticked in both games.
“Bayern Munich are an incredible side. They’ve got some really talented players who keep the ball and use the ball well. If we have to suffer, we have to suffer. That’s our job over the next two games.”
On Azpilicueta’s excessive exuberance, Lampard said: “Thank God it was Azpi because he’s in the team regularly. I’d be worried if it was someone who wasn’t playing a lot, going in with two feet.
“We’re feeling strong and focused. But we have to deliver. Deliver that attitude you saw in Azpi’s challenge. That needs to be delivered, but maybe not with two feet.”
Meanwhile, Bayern manager Flick spoke about his striker Robert Lewandowski’s current form: “Lewandowski, at the moment, is in the form of his life,” Flick said.
“He is fully fit, full of confidence and is in a real good run at the moment, and we hope he will continue that. Robert is a leader up front for us.
“He can put opponents under pressure. He is absolutely brilliant, a real team player. He tracks back and helps in defence. He is right up there with the best.”
On the threat that Lewandowski poses, Lampard said: “(Being in the) form of his life means something special with Lewandowski, because of how well he’s been consistently in Europe for the last how many years. Goalscoring record, everything about him, is just top class.
“He’s going to be a huge threat. He’s not the only threat, but is a spearhead. We’ll have to be at our best.
“There have been games this year when we’ve been good. But the levels have to go up. When you get to the knockout stages in the Champions League, against a team as good as Bayern Munich, the levels have to go up everywhere.”
Lampard said: “I understand if people call us the underdogs, because Bayern are so strong. When you look at their team, the talent they have, the medals, the experience. Maybe we don’t have that experience, but these things are there to change.
“Being the underdog, it’s there to overcome. I don’t get too caught up. I’m focused on what it will take to try to win these two matches.”