Ross Barkley has suffered the brunt of the criticism from Chelsea fans after slamming a late penalty onto the bar during their shock Champions League defeat against Valencia at Stamford Bridge.
But, speaking to BT Sport (17 September, 10.30pm), former Blues striker Chris Sutton believes that Willian should take his share of the blame after Frank Lampard became the first Chelsea manager ever to lose his first European game at the helm.
With a matter of minutes remaining in West London, the hosts were given a glorious chance to cancel out Rodrigo’s opportunist strike after Valencia’s all-action enforcer Daniel Wass was harshly penalised for an alleged handball. But Barkley missed from 12 yards, the ball clipping the woodwork on it's way into the crowd.
Lampard revealed after the game that the former Everton star is Chelsea’s designated penalty taker – but you wouldn’t have guessed it by the way his teammates crowded around seemingly demanding to take the crucial spot kick with Willian, in particular, in Barkley’s ear throughout.
“I don’t get this at all. it doesn’t normally happen. You usually leave the penalty taker to concentrate,” the typically outspoken Sutton said.
“Willian, I mean, what’s he talking about? Is he telling him where to put it? That certainly didn’t help and there was a lot of pressure on (Barkley).”
Barkley has established himself as an emphatic penalty taker in recent months, converting for Chelsea in the Europa League semi-final and the UEFA Super Cup while also finding the net from twelve yards during England’s third place play-off victory at the Nations League in Guimaraes.
It remains to be seen whether Lampard will trust him from now on however.
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