Chelsea didn’t look at their best when they hosted Valencia for their UEFA Champions League group stage draw, losing 0-1 to the Spaniard team despite having a lot of chances to balance the score.
The Blues had the ultimate opportunity of leveling things at the 88th-minute mark, when they were awarded a penalty after Daniel Wass’ handball, but they came up short due to a terrible execution from Ross Barkley.
Barkley had been subbed in 8 minutes earlier to give Lampard’s team a more dynamic playmaker up front, replacing Mateo Kovacic as Chelsea tried to make a late-game push.
Moreover, the former Everton standout took the ball away from Willian and Tammy Abraham to make sure he’d be the one to take the spot, but his shot was far off, hitting the upper bar and leaving the Blues empty-handed.
But the thing that really infuriated Chelsea fans was the way Barkley addressed the media following the game, showing no regrets at all after his exchange of words with Willian and Abraham and his missed penalty:
“When I’m on the pitch, I’ll take the penalty. Obviously, I didn’t execute it right but everybody misses penalties. I didn’t score the goal but I felt confident. If there was another penalty in the game, I would have been confident to take it. You can miss penalties. It’s not the end of the world. We’ve got five more games in the group stage that we’re aiming to win but this didn’t go our way,” he told the media, as reported by Metro.
Regarding Willian and Abraham’s desire to take the penalty, Barkley seemed unfazed by his teammate’s anger and how bad their little scramble looked:
“We’ve got a lot of good penalty-takers in the squad and on a sheet in the changing rooms it says I’m on penalties if I’m on the pitch. Otherwise, it’s Jorginho. But as with all players, sometimes you feel confident to take them on but we can all miss one. They are confident to take the penalties as well but I practice them every day. I don’t miss them in training and in pre-season, I scored penalties. I’ve missed penalties before when I was at Everton and it is one of those things. I’m gutted that I missed but these things happen.
It (the talk before the penalty) was more like ‘good luck with the penalty’ type of thing. They were encouraging me and would have been willing to take the penalty as well but I felt confident. It was a disappointing night all round. Our first game in the group stage, our first game at home as well, it was disappointing. Missing a penalty is not the end of the world for me.
It is a disappointing result not coming away with the three points and disappointing for me not executing the penalty right. I felt confident that I would have but for me, it is to focus on the next game and to get three points at the weekend,” he concluded.