Arsene Wenger says Chelsea broke the ‘number one’ rule of Champions League knockout football during their 3-0 defeat to Bayern Munich in the first leg of the last-16 tie.
The Blues’ hopes of reaching the quarter-finals of this season’s competition were all but ended after Bayern comprehensively outclassed Frank Lampard’s side at Stamford Bridge.
Two goals from Serge Gnabry and one from Robert Lewandowski sealed victory for the Bundesliga champions, and leaves Chelsea with a monumental task to turn the tie around in the second leg.
After the game, former Arsenal manager Wenger pointed out where the Blues got it badly wrong.
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“What has he [Lampard] learned… but he knew already, because you don’t lose five home games if your team is superior to every other team,” Wenger told beIN Sports .
“But at that level, to give possession away you’re punished at some stage because they make you run too much, and you cannot survive for 90 minutes.
“In the Champions League, if you lost the midfield you’re in trouble, it’s rule number one.
“Because you play against good teams, if they can feed the strikers you, at some stage, will pay for it.
“And we’ve all gone through that but when the team is really superior that’s what happens.”
Wenger’s comments were not well received by some Chelsea supporters, who took to social media after the match to highlight that the former Gunners boss was not qualified to give advice owing to his own lack of success in Europe’s premier competition.
The closest the Frenchman got to winning the Champions League was in 2006, when Arsenal were beaten 2-1 in the final by Barcelona.
Under Wenger, the Gunners were also beaten 10-2 by Bayern Munich over two legs in the last-16 of the Champions League in 2016/17 – the worst aggregate defeat by any English side.