Maurizio Sarri selected the “I have faith in you, get out there and make a difference” option when he sent on Ross Barkley in the second, and that’s precisely what the young man did. He may have given the ball away with his first touch, but with his last, he got Chelsea the draw — “right place at the right time,” as he told Chelsea TV — which not only kept the unbeaten run alive, but ended a frustrating afternoon on a positive note.
For Ross personally, it was yet another sign that he’s not only in form and improving, but that last year’s injury issues (including the ruptured hamstring) are fully behind him.
“My confidence has grown but our target was to win the game so it is disappointing. We showed great attitude at the end.
”The manager told me to help the team win the game and try and get a result. We conceded a goal that we should have stopped but we came back.”
That’s two goals in two games for Chelsea, plus two caps for England in the last two weeks. Barkley’s only too happy to contribute.
“I’m building momentum and improving game-by-game. I’ve been working hard in training and the performances are coming on gameday. I’m happy with scoring today but we came here to get the three points and we didn’t, so that’s disappointing.”
-Ross Barkley; source: Sky via Star
The two goals conceded today, not to mention the tactical breakdown in the second half will give Sarri plenty of things to work on this week in training, but Barkley will be out there being the good guy and putting in the hard work like his lookalike.
(Willy Caballero’s doubling down on this John Cena running joke.)