Frank Lampard did praise Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic in midweek despite him playing in a disappointing loss against Bayern Munich.

The Blues were unfortunately humbled on Tuesday night at Stamford Bridge, as they lost 3-0 to the German opposition in the first leg of a Champions League last-16 tie.

(Photo by Rob Newell – CameraSport via Getty Images)

They will need a minor miracle in the second leg to overturn the aggregate deficit, but it was a good way of seeing how far this current group still need to go to compete with Europe’s best.

It must be stressed that Chelsea are at the start of a project with Lampard at the helm of a young squad, but they just weren’t quite up to the task against a polished Bayern opposition.

Serge Gnabry scored a quick-fire double early into the second-half to put the visitors in front, while goal machine Robert Lewandowski added a third in the second-half too.

(Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

Lampard was understandably left disappointed post-match, but did give Kovacic a special mention for his display.

“I think there were a couple of performances in our team, namely Kovacic that played with a personality and a quality that makes you go ‘OK, he can play in virtually any team at that level,” Lampard said, as quoted by Football.London.

(Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images)

Kovacic didn’t deserve to end up on the wrong end of a 3-0 scoreline and he showed once again why he has to be in the running for the club’s player of the year.

The Croatia international looked a risk when Chelsea splashed out £40million (BBC) in the 2019 summer window, as he had just finished an average season-long loan spell at Stamford Bridge.

But he is a 25-year-old that is now looking such a key piece of the side and has to be an individual that Lampard is looking at building his team around.

The central midfielder was brave in possession against a Bayern side that pressed high and it’s clear to see why he was on the books at Real Madrid.

Have something to tell us about this article?