‘Ross is the penalty taker… that is the clear story’: Frank Lampard comes out in defence of Barkley after midfielder misses spot kick in Valencia defeat
- Ross Barkley missed a penalty as Chelsea were defeated by Valencia
- The midfielder had an on-field quarrel with Willian over the spot kick duties
- Frank Lampard has come out in defence and said Barkley was always the taker
- Eidur Gudjohnsen accused the England star of ‘disrespecting’ his team-mates
Frank Lampard leapt to the defence of Ross Barkley, insisting he is Chelsea’s designated penalty taker after the England midfielder missed an 87th-minute spot-kick in their 1-0 defeat by Valencia.
The Chelsea boss claimed his side were dealt a ‘harsh lesson in Champions League football’ as Rodrigo scored with 16 minutes to play at Stamford Bridge to secure all three points for the visitors.
Willian was seen speaking to Barkley before the English midfielder took charge of the penalty, only to see his effort hit the bar. Lampard had previously refused to disclose who his No 1 taker is but revealed after the match: ‘Ross is the penalty taker, he was in pre-season and scored a couple. He has been when he started, and he was when he came on today and he missed it. That is the clear story.’
Frank Lampard has come out in defence of Ross Barkley after his penalty miss vs Valencia
Lampard added: ‘I don’t know what the conversation was, but Jorginho and Willian were the takers on the pitch, when Ross comes on he becomes the penalty taker, and he missed it.’
Questions are likely to be asked of Lampard’s decision, given Barkley has scored only two competitive penalties – in regulation time – in seven years for club and country.
In 2015 Barkley also missed a spot-kick against Burnley after taking it off Leighton Baines. Former Chelsea forward Eidur Gudjohnsen even accused the England star of ‘disrespecting’ his team-mates. But Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta insisted Barkley had the support of the rest of his side.
Barkley assumed responsibility for the kick despite words from both Willian and Jorginho
The England midfielder then stepped up and rifled the ball at the crossbar and over
‘We know the Champions League can be decided on fine details,’ Azpilicueta said. ‘Ross is one of the best in the team. He felt confidence but obviously we had some more (players) with great capacity from the penalty spot. He was unlucky hitting the bar.’
He added: ‘(They) were encouraging him to score. He had high confidence so everyone was trying to get him in the best decision because we know that can be decisive. We know it went wrong but hopefully next time it goes in.’
Their bad night was compounded by an injury to Mason Mount. He was taken off after 16 minutes, with Lampard later revealing: ‘He has got an ankle injury, we don’t know how bad it is, we are going to have to assess it in the next 24-48 hours.’
After the game Lampard was also asked about a number of alleged racist chants against Jews and gypsies.
The Chelsea boss said: ‘I didn’t hear them, but it’s the same message I’ve said quite a few times this season. Chelsea as a club, we have initiatives and we are very clear where we stand on racist chants at this ground or any other ground. I will reiterate that, clearly.’