Our chief football writer Phil McNulty says…
Chelsea’s Champions League campaign is surely over after they were brutally outclassed by Bayern Munich in the last-16 first-leg tie at Stamford Bridge.
The Bundesliga leaders followed in the footsteps of closest rivals RB Leipzig, who won at Tottenham at this same stage six days previously, by coming to the capital and producing a hugely impressive display.
And, as when Bayern inflicted an historic 7-2 home defeat on Spurs in October, former Arsenal star Serge Gnabry was the tormentor-in-chief as he revelled on his return to London.
The 24-year-old scored four at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and he delivered the end product Bayern had threatened from the kick-off when he struck clinically twice early in the second half after being set up by the outstanding Robert Lewandowski.
Lewandowski surely snuffed out any lingering hopes Chelsea had of a comeback when he finished off another sweeping attack, fed by the brilliant teenager Alphonso Davies.
More from Lampard on Bayern’s brilliance: “If you look at the choice of passes they make, our choices have to improve. If our players have a bit about them, which I think they do, they will look at who they were playing against and the level they need to work to.
“We will always play with pride but I’m more concerned about the bigger picture. How quickly can we recover for the Premier League and how quickly can we get to the level?”
It was a brutal assessment from Chelsea manager Frank Lampard…
“The performance was poor and sometimes you have to be brutally honest,” he said. “They outclassed us in every department and it’s quite sobering.
“The level of team they are is why they challenge in the Bundesliga and Europe year in year out.
“I’m disappointed we couldn’t do more against them. We have to take it on the chin and work towards getting back to the levels we want to be at.”Copyright: Reuters
It was a bleak night at Stamford Bridge for the Blues, who were beaten 3-0 by Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 clash.
Former Arsenal winger Serge Gnabry netted twice for the German champions, before Robert Lewandowski put the tie almost out of Chelsea’s reach…Copyright: EPA
Chelsea fans, look away now…Copyright: Reuters