Former Chelsea defender Frank Leboeuf says he is “sad” for right-back Reece James following the Blues’ heavy Champions League loss to Bayern Munich on Tuesday. James played the entire 90 minutes at wing-back as Chelsea lost 3-0 in the first leg of their last-16 tie at Stamford Bridge. Two goals from Serge Gnabry and a third from Robert Lewandowski sealed an emphatic win for the Bundesliga giants.
The match was just James’ fifth appearance in the Champions League and just the third start for the 19-year-old in the competition.
Gnabry and left-back Alphonso Davies caused the Chelsea academy graduate trouble, especially in the second half of the match.
Leboeuf felt sorry for James but hopes he can learn from the experience going forward.
“I was so sad for James, who discovered the Champions League and can see how far he is to reach the top level,” Leboeuf said on ESPN FC.
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“So we wish him the best but he’s going to have to work a lot.
“He seemed to be very juvenile with [Mason] Mount, especially in that game.”
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard had no complaints about the result after the match and says his side were dealt a football lesson.
“That’s football at this level,” Lampard said.
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“Bayern Munich’s levels were fantastic. Unless we were to get everything right it was going to be a tough night.
“We didn’t get everything bang on, we weren’t confident on the ball. That was my biggest disappointment, mostly from start to finish.
“We want to play here, we’ve shown that all season, but today we went away from that. That can happen in an intense atmosphere when all eyes are on.
“It was a harsh lesson and a reality for the players of the levels we want to get to.
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“There is a lot of quality in their team, and a build to it with players like [Robert] Lewandowski, [Thomas] Muller, [Jerome] Boateng, [Manuel] Neuer, [David] Alaba, who have been there a long time. There is a lot to their team we have to respect.
“In the first half we suffered in moments but we defended resiliently. Technically our defending wasn’t great but we stayed in the game and had a couple of chances.
“You have to show more than we showed over 90 minutes. The first goal had a bit of a slip in the build-up, but the clinical nature with which they finished it showed a team of their quality will score goals if you give them chances.”
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