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Frank Lampard’s side fought well in the group stage of the Champions League after qualifying as second from a tough group that included Valencia, Ajax and Lille.
The Blues were drawn against Bayern Munich for the second leg and it looked a tough task for Lampard’s young Chelsea team.
After a 3-0 home defeat against the Bavarians, Chelsea hero Pat Nevin raised the suggestion that another year in the Europa League may have been beneficial for Lampard’s inexperienced team.
“One of the things I’ve said is that it maybe Chelsea getting into the Champions League this year wasn’t the best thing,” Nevin said.
“I was saying go through that’s great and get into the knockouts and if we don’t we go into the Europa League.
“Maybe this team needs some time in the Europa League, a good few more European matches because I didn’t think we were ready yet and we’ve come up against one of the big guns and we didn’t look ready yet.”
However, former Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack rejected the idea and insisted that the players will learn from this defeat.
Ballack replied: “I wouldn’t agree with that. I would always take a Champions League match over three Europa League matches.
“You learn from these kind of matches and even though they got this tough defeat today, they will learn from that. They will learn more than playing in Donetsk or other teams.
“These are the best teams, you always want to play against the best teams and that’s how you learn.”