Frank Lampard’s greatest night as a Chelsea player came against Bayern Munich in 2012… now he takes them on in his first European knockout tie as a manager looking to inflict more misery on Germany’s best
- Frank Lampard’s Chelsea will play Bayern in the last-16 of the Champions League
- The biggest night of Lampard’s career came against Bayern in the 2012 final
- He also scored a sublime goal against the German giants way back in 2005
- Now he leads Chelsea into his first European knockout tie as boss against them
It has been almost eight years since Frank Lampard inspired Chelsea to the pinnacle of European football, a night he describes as ‘the best feeling I’ve had in my football career, by a million miles’.
With John Terry suspended, Lampard was handed the captain’s armband by Roberto Di Matteo and led the Blues into the lions den against hosts Bayern Munich in the 2012 Champions League final.
He produced a midfield performance for the ages, playing superbly throughout a frenetic 120 minutes before scoring in a nerve-wracking penalty shootout to down the German giants in their own backyard.
Frank Lampard will lead Chelsea in his first European knockout game as a manager on Tuesday
Lampard’s biggest career highlight, winning the Champions League, came at Bayern in 2012
That was not the first time Lampard had caused Bayern problems though. Seven years before, with Jose Mourinho watching on TV while he served a touchline ban, he scored a wonder goal in a 4-2 quarter-final win at Stamford Bridge.
It was a goal that typified Lampard’s career. Lingering at the back post after a set piece, the former England international was picked out by a lovely chipped pass from Claude Makelele.
Under pressure and with no time to control the ball with his feet, Lampard decided to chest it down with his back to goal before spinning and firing home on the half-volley.
Those games against Bayern are among the standouts of Lampard’s illustrious playing career. But times have changed and he will go up against the German giants again on Tuesday night in his first European knockout match as a manager.
Thomas Muller played and scored in the 2012 final and could not hide his admiration for Lampard earlier this week.
Lampard looks dejected as Thomas Muller celebrates scoring the opener in the 2012 final
Lampard slams his penalty past Bayern’s Manuel Neuer during the nervy penalty shootout
He told The Athletic: ‘He was a super player. He played practical football.
‘Technically very good, super shooting technique, super with long balls — a midfielder who could work and be dangerous in front of goal at the same time.
‘He simply knew: these are the things you need to do to win football matches. He was a player I can really relate to.’
While the Chelsea team that beat Bayern in 2012 was full of experienced heads, such as Petr Cech, Didier Drogba and David Luiz, Lampard’s current crop are quite the opposite.
For the likes of Reece James, Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham, European nights against the best the continent has to offer are still a new experience. They are fortunate to have a manager who has so much faith in them.
Back in 2005, Lampard scored a sensational half volley against Bayern in the quarter-finals
Now he is in the Chelsea dugout, looking to lead his young team deep into the tournament
‘I’ve got no doubts about starting any of the young players, I trust in all the players who have been part of the squad this year,’ he said earlier this week.
‘They’ve earned trust in the way they’ve played. It changes slightly when it gets to the knockout stages and I’ll speak to all the players about what that means.
‘We’ve got players with Champions League experience in the squad but we’ve also got young players at the first stages of their careers.
‘A big part of my job (on Tuesday) is to explain to the players that over two legs we need to be at our maximum. We need every detail, every box ticked in both games.’
Chelsea’s recent form has seen their grip on fourth place loosen but victory over Tottenham last weekend was a boost for morale just when Lampard needed one.
Victory on Tuesday will bring another one and if Lampard’s players need an example of how to take down Bayern then they need look no further than their manager.
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