World Cup Russia 2018


Frank Lampard..

Frank Lampard picks the Chelsea player he thinks is vital in stopping Messi

Published Add your comment

Football News

You get the feeling that neither Chelsea nor Barcelona wanted to draw each other in the Champions League round of 16.

There's no joy for the Blues pulling out the La Liga leaders and as far as Blaugrana are concerned, they won't be too excited to safe something of a bogey team of theirs. Memories of the 2012 semi-final remain fresh in the memory at Stamford Bridge, after all.

One of the key players in that victory over two legs was none other than Frank Lampard who, this time, will be watching on from the BT Sport studio as a pundit.

Back in 2012, though, he was given a new lease of life under Roberto di Matteo and helped to secure a gritty 1-0 victory at Stamford Bridge as well as a superb comeback from 2-0 down at the Nou Camp.

The key to securing victory was neutralising Lionel Messi and not only that, but a peak Lionel Messi who would go onto score a record-breaking 73 goals that season.

Frank Lampard lays down the game-plan for Barcelona game

The contemporary Barcelona side is somewhat weaker than Pep Guardiola's iteration, yet Lampard believes their star man hasn't declined one bit.

In his column for the Evening Standard, he warned: "Messi is still as good as ever. He is 30 and I don’t see any downturn.

"The only issue for a player like Messi is when you set such incredibly high standards, a quiet spell leads to people starting to write you off — he hasn’t scored for the past five games so people make more of it."

Chelsea's Ivorian forward Didier Drogba

Lampard: The key is N'Golo Kante

Nevertheless, the man himself had some advice on how to stop the Argentine and it revolves around one player - N'Golo Kante.

"I think he will organise the team more specifically so that it is down to the individual to take care of Messi whenever he runs into their area of the pitch.

"There will be periods when you just have to back off. The problem is that being at home, there will be people wanting to see Chelsea have a bit of a go at them. But their players are that good, you have to back off to deny them the space where they can really hurt you.

"It is a fine line for Chelsea. They need to sit back but at the same time put pressure on him so he doesn’t become relaxed on the ball.

"This is where I think N’Golo Kante will be key. He is the one in Chelsea’s midfield with the abilities you need because he is so quick into the tackle.

West Ham United v Chelsea - Premier League

"But it is important all 11 press their opponents, starting with those players at the top of the pitch.

"Conte has a lot of decisions to make about who he plays next to Kante in midfield as well as those further forward."

You get the impression that the game will decided in the midfield and the ceaseless Frenchman will be crucial in pacifying the Barcelona midfield as well as the man himself.

Who do you think will progress to the quarter-finals - Chelsea or Barcelona? Have your say in the comments section below.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE:

Frank Lampard

Article Comments

Read more

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author


This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again