Despite suffering a 4-1 away defeat to Bayern Munich on Saturday night, Chelsea manager Frank Lampard did name his defender Reece James as a big positive from the match for his performance.
The Blues have bowed out of the Champions League after losing 7-1 on aggregate against German title-winners Bayern, who will now be one of the favourites to win Europe’s elite club competition.
Robert Lewandoswki (two), Ivan Perisic and Corentin Tolisso were all on the scoresheet for Bayern, who face off against Barcelona next week in the quarter-finals.
Meanwhile, Lampard’s side have now played their last match of the 2019/20 season and striker Tammy Abraham netted a consolation to cap off a decent individual campaign for himself.
Chelsea will have new signings Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech available to them the next time they play, but supporters may be desperate for some defensive additions to the squad after another game that highlighted the weaknesses at the back.
The Blues conceded four goals on the night against Bayern, but manager Lampard did give credit to his right-back James.
“A good exercise for us today. Reece James gave an incredible individual performance,” Lampard said in his post-match press conference, as quoted by Football.London.
James was kept extremely busy at the weekend by Bayern’s attack-minded left-back Alphonso Davies, but it was an intriguing battle between the pair and he gave a good account of himself.
The 20-year-old full-back got forward when he could for Chelsea and gave an indication into the quality from his crosses into the box.
It’s been a real breakthrough season for the English defender at Stamford Bridge and he’s perhaps one of the options at the back that should remain the same next year.