Chelsea 0-1 Valencia: 3 talking points as Ross Barkley penalty miss results in Blues defeat in their Champions League opener tonight.
Chelsea came into their Champions League fixture on the back of a 5-2 win over Wolverhampton. Valencia on the other hand had undergone a drubbing with the same score against Barcelona. The youngsters at London had impressed and looked to continue their winning run.
After all Chelsea have been unbeaten in the Champions league since 2015. They have also scored in all of their last 38 home games and had totalled 38 goals in the streak. To make matters worse, Valencia had never beaten Chelsea in a Champions league match before; home or away.
With all the odds stacked against them, Valencia not only stood their ground but came out on top in their Champions league opener against the blues. The scoreline read 1-0 after the match as several streaks came to an end while a few still remained.
Here are the 3 talking points from the Chelsea’s 0-1 loss to Valencia.
3. Mason Mount injured
Chelsea started the tournament with a 4-0 loss at Old Trafford. They have since slowly yet steadily begun to settle with their new team and management. Much of Chelsea’s charge has been led by the youngsters such as Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham.
However, it seems that Frank Lampard may have lost one of his starlets for quite sometime after Mount limped off the ground in the 16th minute. The 20-year old was a victim of a brutal tackle by Francis Coquelin.
Mount will consider himself lucky that his knees did not buckle from the unnecessarily aggressive challenge while Coquelin will consider himself lucky to have only received a yellow card.
Mount’s absence was hugely felt as Chelsea felt creatively lacking in the middle of the park. Lampard will hope that Mount recovers soon because Chelsea cannot afford to play as poorly in the Premier League, lest they spend another year away from Europe’s elite competition.
2. Why was Pulisic not bought in?
Christian Pulisic was bought by Chelsea for £58 million. With Eden Hazard’s exit inevitable, it seemed that Pulisic was the Belgium’s heir apparent. However, fast forward to September 17 and Pulisic is yet to cement his place as a regular starter.
Lampard’s campaign has been defined by his fearlessness in giving opportunities to youngsters. However, Lampard seemed unwilling to give Pulisic a chance in the Champions League, bringing in Pedro after Mount’s horrific injury. He would make two more substitutions in Olivier Giroud and Ross Barkley while Pulisic witness Chelsea lose 0-1 to Valencia from the bench.
Pulisic is a tremendous talent and looks to have a bright future. At 20, he has already captained the U.S and is considered their most talented player by many. Lampard doesn’t to share the same thoughts though.
It seemed as if he was too scared of losing and did not have faith in Pulisic to pull through. Lampard will have to live and die by the sword he has chosen to bring in to battle.
If he has made up his mind on using youngsters, he has to put all his faith in him. Half-measures will quickly show and everything will fail, if he abandons his ideology at the first scent of terror.