Lampard: Champions League win would be ‘greatest achievement’
Frank Lampard admits that beating Bayern Munich to win the Champions League would be Chelsea's biggest achievement
Frank Lampard admits that winning the Champions League on Saturday would mark Chelsea’s “greatest” achievement.
The Londoners take on Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena looking to secure a cup double after having lifted the FA Cup for the third time in four years earlier this month.
Roberto Di Matteo’s men disposed of Napoli, Benfica and holders Barcelona en route to the final but Lampard has warned that all of their good work in the knockout stages will be forgotten should the Blues lose in Munich.
“We’ve enjoyed the feeling of beating the best, and we’ve enjoyed that but are clever enough to know that if you lose the final people quickly forget the semis and other games,” Lampard told Chelsea’s website.
“It can only be a team effort of the same level we’ve been putting in in the Champions League, with the spirit we showed in Barcelona.
“Hopefully we will have more possession but with that spirit we have the individuals to win the game. For Chelsea it would be the greatest achievement.”
Few would have predicted such a dramatic turnaround in Chelsea’s fortunes towards the end of Andre Villas-Boas’s turbulent spell at Stamford Bridge – but Lampard insists he and his team-mates always believed they could bounce back under interim boss Di Matteo.
“We were struggling [after the 3-1 defeat at Napoli in the last-16 first-leg],” he continued. “You could see that, and you wouldn’t have looked ahead and seen this, but things can change very quickly. We were very despondent afterwards and it took a big effort to turn things around. The home game was the major turning point in our season.
“With experience you know football changes in two seconds. That’s the nature of the game. We always knew we had the quality here.
“That was what was disappointing about losing points in the league. We knew we were better than that and it took for everyone, staff, players, we all had to improve at that stage.
“Considering the season we’ve had I think we were pretty unfancied to get this far, on the way out against Napoli, then drawing Barcelona.
“When you don’t see it coming the fact you are there is more enjoyable, and it’s been a nice thought in the last couple of weeks.”
Pre-match facts: Chelsea v Bayern Munich
• Bayern have won one and lost two of three previous European Cup finals against English clubs. They also lost the 2001 Uefa Super Cup 3-2 to Liverpool.
• Chelsea’s only previous Champions League final appearance came in 2008 in Moscow, when they suffered a 6-5 penalty shoot-out loss to Manchester United following a 1-1 draw.
• Bayern have won 14 of their last 15 European home games. The only English side to have beaten Bayern in Munich are Norwich City, 2-1 victors in a Uefa Cup second round tie in 1993.
• Chelsea won 2-0 at home to Leverkusen in the group stage. Their overall record against Bundesliga opponents is W7 D2 L4.