We must be at our best to stop Messi, admits Chelsea’s Lampard

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard warns his team-mates they must be at their very best to stop Lionel Messi on Wednesday

Martin Caparrotta
By Martin Caparrotta at Stamford Bridge
frank lampard
Frank Lampard faces the media at Stamford Bridge on Tueday Photo: The Sport Review

frank lampard

Frank Lampard has fired a warning at each and every one of his Chelsea team-mates, telling them they must be at the very top of their game to stop Lionel Messi from ending the Blues’ Champions League dream on Wednesday night.

The three-time Ballon d’Or winner has failed to score in six matches against Chelsea but Lampard admits that “statistics go out of the window” when facing Messi on his current form, with the Argentine having already netted 63 goals for club and country this season.

“Every time you turn the TV on he [Messi] scores two goals at the moment,” said Lampard ahead of the semi-final first leg at Stamford Bridge.

“It’s good that he hasn’t scored against us. We pride ourselves on being a strong team and when we’ve played Barcelona before I think we’ve caused them difficulties.

“But with Messi, I think statistics and history go out of the window, the way he’s playing.

“It’s solely about us performing in these two games to try and stop him – and with the ability he’s got we have to be at our best. Not just our back four but as a team.

“Individually, he’s proved himself to be the most dangerous player in world football.”

Despite the size of the task ahead of them, Lampard insists Chelsea are full of belief that they can knock out the holders and book a place in the final against either Real Madrid or Bayern Munich.

“I think our style of play has been very effective of late,” he continued. “I think we’re mixing a powerful, organised and disciplined game with some very good attacking football and I think on our day we can be a match for anyone.

“Barcelona are not only the in-form team now but [they’ve been] the dominant team in Europe over the last few years. We know we have to be at our best but we believe in ourselves.

“It’s a huge occasion to play a semi-final. We’re playing against the top team in world football. What better challenge as individuals and as a team to take on?

“If we can win that then we have a final, but the players remain as determined as ever to win it.”

MORE:

MORE: The latest football transfer news

MORE: Meet the Premier League's most stylish footballers

MORE: Do you know the top Muslim footballers in the Premier League?

MORE: Take a tour of Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s £10m London house

MORE: Man United latest news

MORE: Arsenal latest news

MORE: Chelsea latest news

MORE: Liverpool latest news

ATP Finals 2018
The Sport Review
Mind the gap: Roger Federer, Alexander Zverev, and the challenge for the next generation
The Sport Review
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
The Sport Review
Meet Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s girlfriend Amine Gulse
The Sport Review
Take a tour of Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s £10m London house with us
The Sport Review
Top 50 most stylish footballers in the world in 2017: Chelsea, Arsenal stars feature – Slideshow
The Sport Review
Meet Chelsea FC star Andreas Christensen’s girlfriend Katrine Friis
ATP Finals 2018
The Sport Review
Nitto ATP Finals: Sascha Zverev takes big step in group of big men with Marin Cilic victory
The Sport Review
Ander Herrera issues Man United rallying cry after 3-1 loss at Man City
ATP Finals 2018
The Sport Review
Nitto ATP Finals 2018: Federer surges through Thiem to keep hopes alive in London