Finally the day we were waiting for was here. Chelsea were back in the Champions League and all the fans were buzzing for the visit of Valencia. Frank Lampard went with the same formation from the game against Wolves with the only change being that Zouma came back into the side because Rudiger was injured. Chelsea should have come into this game with a lot of confidence as they took on a Valencia side who were in a disarray after they had sacked their manager.
The game kicked off and Chelsea were on the front foot as Tammy Abraham came very close to give Chelsea the lead, being denied by Jasper Cillessen. Around the 15 minute mark, Mason Mount suffered an injury as former Arsenal midfielder Coquelin made a horrific challenge on the youngster. He was booked and it was shocking that he was not sent off. Mount couldn’t run off the injury and Pedro replaced him. Willian had the best chance of the game as Kovacic played a spectacular ball to him. The Brazilian brought the cross down with his chest but he failed to find the back of the net. Willian was denied yet again in the final minutes of the first half. The HT whistle blew and Chelsea should have gone into the break with a lead.
The second half was underway and Marcos Alonso came close from his free kick but it was saved by Cillessen. With 15 minutes remaining in the game, Valencia took the lead through Rodrigo, who scored from Valencia’s first shot on target. The Chelsea defence went to sleep from the free kick a paid a huge price for it, something Lampard had warned about. With five minutes remaining, Chelsea were desperately looking for an equaliser and were given hope as they were awarded a penalty for handball in the box. VAR made the correct decision and Chelsea had a brilliant chance to equalise. Substitute Ross Barkley decided to take the penalty, whilst Jorginho and Willian were arguing with him. Ross Barkley was confident he would find the back of the net, but unfortunately he hit the cross bar, and Chelsea were back to square one.
The final whistle blew and Frank Lampard’s first Champions League game for the Blues ended in a huge disappointment. Frank has to take blame for the substitutions that he made. Why didn’t Christian Pulisic come on? Why did he sub Ross Barkley on? Why did Ross Barkley decide to take the penalty when Jorginho and Willian were there? There are still many questions to be answered but Chelsea’s first game back in the Champions League ended in defeat.
Ross Barkley: 2
“We probably deserved a win, or at least a draw. We created enough in the game. Not lots of fantastic chances but good chances and obviously a penalty, then we concede from the one shot on target, so it’s a harsh lesson in Champions League football. It’s a game we played pretty well in, and we lost.”Lampard speaking after the game
What’s next for Chelsea?
Chelsea suffered a defeat in their opening game of the Champions League and it has left the fans very upset and angry. The experienced players in this squad are simply not good enough and are letting the team and the fans down. Frank Lampard also has to take blame for the substitutions that he made. Ross Barkley let the team down by missing the penalty. There’s no harm in missing them, penalties are all about luck, but if you are confident enough to take them, then score them. He should have left Jorginho or Willian to take the penalty. But it is what it is, and Chelsea will host league leaders Liverpool on Sunday and hopefully we can have a positive response from the team.
UP THE CHELS!