Ross Barkley, Willian Speak Following Penalty Miss in UCL Loss to Valencia

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistSeptember 18, 2019

Chelsea's English midfielder Ross Barkley reacts after missing a penaltyu during the UEFA Champion's League Group H football match between Chelsea and Valencia at Stamford Bridge in London on September 17, 2019. (Photo by Ian KINGTON / AFP)        (Photo credit should read IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images)
IAN KINGTON/Getty Images

Ross Barkley has said there was no dispute about him taking Chelsea's penalty in their 1-0 UEFA Champions League defeat to Valencia on Tuesday, but Willian explained afterwards he "wanted to take it."

After going 1-0 behind at Stamford Bridge in the Group C clash to Rodrigo's 74th-minute strike, Barkley had the perfect chance to salvage a point from the spot in the dying minutes after Daniel Wass handled the ball in the penalty area.

Barkley, who had only come on as a substitute minutes earlier, was consulted by Willian, Tammy Abraham and Jorginho before his effort ricocheted into the crowd via the top of the crossbar:

The Englishman has clarified that, as the designated penalty taker, his team-mates were simply wishing him luck rather than trying to take the spot-kick off him, per James Olley of the Evening Standard:

"[They were] more just encouraging [me] to score the goal. Obviously they are confident to take the penalties as well, but I practice penalties 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.

"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 all players, sometimes you feel confident to take them on, but we can all miss one. It is more like 'good luck with the penalty' type of thing."

By contrast, Willian said he had wanted to take the penalty to try to tie up the match, but he did not blame Barkley for the miss, per Metro:

"I wanted to take it, but he was confident to take it. This is football. He missed the penalty, but it could be me that missed, or Jorginho, or whoever. So football is like this. But when we win, we win together, and when we lose, we lose together."

The home defeat to Los Che is a big blow for Chelsea, not least as Valencia went to Stamford Bridge in relative turmoil following the sacking of Marcelino. 

Group H of the 2019-20 Champions League is one of the tightest in the tournament, with Chelsea, Valencia, Ajax and Lille all harbouring reasonable ambitions of making the knockout stages.

For Frank Lampard and his side, that will now be a much bigger challenge, and their visit to Lille on October 2 is arguably a must-win game:

However, despite the contrasting comments from two members of the side, it appears Barkley's penalty miss has not caused an unhelpful rift in the squad.

Chelsea will now turn their focus back to the Premier League and Sunday's encounter with table-topping Liverpool.    

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