Frank Lampard reckons Reece James produced an “incredible individual performance” as Chelsea lost to Bayern Munich in the second leg of their last-16 Champions League match.
The German outfit flexed their muscles as one of the tournament favourites once again, securing a 7-1 aggregate victory over Chelsea in the last-16 tie.
However, it was James who Lampard picked out for special praise during the loss in Munich.
“I want to focus on the resilience and the performance levels of a lot of players in the team,” Lampard told journalists.
“I think it was a good exercise for us today to look at a team like Bayern Munich and the Champions League experience they have in their ranks. Hundreds of appearances through their team and we had young players, debut seasons.
“Reece James going toe-to-toe with top players with an incredible individual performance, and some others within that. And I can see where I want us to go, for the good and the bad.”
When asked if the players will have learnt from the experience, Lampard replied: “Yeah without a doubt. A game against this high-level opponent is going to stretch you and strain you and it will be an experience for Reece and Callum and Tammy and Mason.
“But what I saw was young players there staying in the game, showing their qualities, fighting until the end. ‘N’Golo Kante, who has played 50% of our games this year – we’ve missed him badly – and then showing why he is the player that he is, with his level of performance during the game particularly the second half.
“So the result isn’t nice. Probably most people expected us to lose anyway, but we went in with the absolute right intentions and we competed against them.
“I’m never going to be happy with a defeat, but when you match up the two teams and I think about where we want to get to, it will take time. It’s not overnight. We know the position we’re in. So we take a rest which the players richly deserve and we look forward and we want to improve.”